viernes, 18 de marzo de 2011

Pensamiento-del-dia - Mes de February 2011






Pensamiento-del-dia
Sankarshana Das Adhikari


An Appeal for Your Help

On the order of his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Sankarshan Prabhu has dedicated his life for the most urgent work of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. The more that Krishna consciousness spreads, the more that the suffering, scarcity, and hate on this planet will be replaced with bliss, abundance and love. This is a golden opportunity for us to do the highest good for all living beings and receive the special blessings of the Lord. Therefore we should, as much as possible, sacrifice our time, energy, and resources to assist Sankarshan Prabhu in his most important work. If you would like to help out to any extent, little or big, kindly inform Sankarshan Prabhu of your desire.

 Email Sankarshan Prabhu


Sofia Lecture Videos On Line:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/gauranga


Monday 28 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Know God Only to the Extent You Love God

God cann0t be understood by mental speculation. The most you can understand by mental speculation is what God is not. If you actually want to understand what is God positively, this is only possible when He reveals Himself to you. And this He will only do to the extent that you awaken your dormant love for Him. That supreme munificent person gives you all facility to awaken your love for Him. Now it is up to you to take full advantage of His unlimited mercy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does Your Name Mean?

What does your name "Sankarshan Das Adhikari" translate to in English?

Jurgen

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Answer: Supreme Attractor's Empowered Servant

Sankarshan Das Adhikari means "the empowered servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the attractor of all living entities." On 12 August 1971, while in London, England Srila Prabhupada wrote me a letter accepting me as his disciple and giving me the name Sankarshan Das. The title "adhikari", which means one who is empowered, is a suffix which he gave to all his initiated disciples who were married men.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 27 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Owning Up to Our Mortality

There is no sense in dreaming that we can live forever. The clock is ticking away at every second bringing us closer and closer to death. Pretending that death is not coming will not make it go away. The inexorable time juggernaut keeps right on rolling along crushing everything in its path. Sooner or later it will be our turn to succumb. Therefore the intelligent person prepares himself now for the inevitable by reviving his Krishna consciousness to prepare himself for eternal, all-blissful, full cognizant existence in that wondrous spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Objection: There Are Not Two Caste Systems

Dear Gurudeva,

Pranams. I am sorry to partially refuse the view point you stated yesterday regarding varnashram. I think there are not two caste systems. Please give me some Vedic proof for the same.

As per my understanding, a birth of a living entity is decided by his quality (and capacity) at the time of death. So a living entity desiring to know the truth is placed in a brahminical womb, one desirous to achieve fame is placed in a ksatriya womb, one desirous to achieve wealth (or thinking about wealth at time of death) is placed in vaisya womb, and one who was thinking about sense enjoyment would be placed in a sudra womb [and more trivial ones like just thinking about eating meat may be placed in animal wombs]. God not only places the entity in a womb corresponding to his desire, but also gives as much facility as possible so that the living entity can fulfill his desire and in the course can also achieve some spiritual progress.

So it is correct that a person's caste is determined by his qualities and actions, but it is also correct that a person's caste is determined by his birth, since the birth is determined by the qualities and actions (of his previous berth). It is possible that after birth a person may change his qualities and actions (like sage Vishwamitra or Dronacharya). But I think they are exceptions and not the rule. Otherwise we have the risk of assuming that God places entities in womb randomly with no relation to the quality or desire of a particular individual. So varnashram WAS a perfect socio/economic/spiritual system. This might have been degraded mainly by researchers who didn't had the idea of rebirth/transmigration and hence were not able to understand the caste system (basically birth based) on previous activity and existence of desires even before a living entity enters into the womb. And in trying to defend from their onslaught many acharyas had endorsed the view.

So in my opinion varnashram including caste by birth was a perfect system (even though it can't be revived until end of kali yuga) as well as practical. Since if we have to decide a persons caste by his activities, who will decide and when? It will be an almost impossible and controversial activity with almost all relatives of the ruling class being classified as brahmanas and everyone else as sudras, so the only practical way of deciding caste may be by birth.

However except for this view on varnashram I agree with most of your other views and I am grateful for the same in providing me a hope to come out of this illusion/suffering. In case if you find my opinion not correct, please let me know and once again I am sorry if was wrong in writing this.

Respectfully yours,

Subramanian

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Answer: The Real System and Its Shadow

I beg to point out that I am not presenting my views. I am presenting the authoritative version of the Vedic literatures as confirmed by the great acharyas. I also beg to point out that you have a misunderstanding regarding the system of four social and spiritual orders, which is technically called the varnashram system in the Vedic literatures, and commonly referred to as the caste system. However, because you are a sincere seeker of truth, I accept your apology. You must now lay aside all preconceived notions and understand this matter clearly.

The great Vaisnava acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada clearly describes the two kinds of caste systems as follows:

"It is this divine varnashram-dharma that Krishna recommends, not the caste system as it is understood today. This modern caste system is now condemned in India also, and it should be condemned, for the classification of different types of men according to birth is not the Vedic or divine caste system."

"The Vedic literature consists of the sruti (the Vedas and Upanisads) and the smrti (the Vedanta-sutra, the Puranas, Itihasas like the Mahabharata and Ramayana, the Pancaratras, and finally the Srimad-Bhagavatam). The Srimad -Bhagavatam is the natural commentary on the Vedanta-sutra and offers solid education on how to conduct life perfectly. In recent ages the smrti texts have become prominent and influenced human thought and action. All these scriptures fully support the varnashram system of four social and four religious orders. But what is today being labeled varnashram is an atheistic concept totally unsupported by the scriptures. Real varnashram is based not on birth but on people's qualities and activities. One cannot reach the goal of the scriptures by practicing today's demoniac caste system. Only the introduction of daivi-varnashram, the transcendental varnashram system, will serve the purpose of the scriptures. This will move humanity toward liberation."

While it is often the case that a person gets a birth with parents of the same quality, it is often not the case also. For example, in our Krishna consciousness movement there are thousands of people who were born into sudra families but who have shown by their qualities and activities that they are indeed brahmanas. In India one of them was told by a caste brahmana that because he was engaged in Krishna consciousness even though he was not a brahmana now, in his next life he would take birth as a brahmana. This is pure rubbish. This caste brahmana was promoting the demoniac caste system based on birth. He refused to accept the divine caste system described by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita based on qualities and activities. He refused to accept that a western born preacher of Vedic dharma could be accepted as a brahmana. Just see how close-minded and bigoted he was.

The divine caste system is clearly described by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ


"According to the qualities of the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me."
--Bhagavad-gita 4.13

Note carefully that Krishna says guna karma, qualities and work are the basis of the four social divisions. He nowhere mentions janma or birth as the basis of determining one's social position. A person whose qualities and activities are a manifestation of the mode of goodness is a brahmana. A person whose qualities and activities are in the mode of passion is a ksatriya. A person who has a mixture of passion and ignorance is a vaisya. And a person who is in the mode of ignorance is a sudra. In any society in any part of the world these natural social divisions are there. In communist Russia there was an artificial attempt to make a classless society, but the social divisions were still there. The common people were the worker sudra class. And the communist party members were the ksatriya or administrative class. The intellectuals who opposed communism were the brahmana class. The vaisya class was suppressed and not allowed to function. But as soon as communism fell so many Russians came out as mercantile men, the vaisya class.

When a proponent of the demoniac caste system stated that Swami Bhaktivedanta is spoiling Hinduism, Srila Prabhupada's retort was, "I am increasing the number of Hindus."

Brahmana is a qualification. It is not by birth. Just as a high-court judge's son is not a high-court judge unless he has the qualifications of a high-court judge, similarly the son of a brahmana is not a brahmana by birth. Of course, birth as the son a high court judge gives one a very good opportunity for being a high court judge, but it is not automatic. If the high court judge's son also wants to be a high court judge, he must qualify himself.

It is the bona fide spiritual master who recognizes the nature of his disciples and engages them properly in Krishna's service according to their varna and ashram. The four varnas (social orders) are brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, and sudra. The four ashrams (spiritual orders) are brahmacari, grihastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa.

Ruling class means ksatriyas, not brahmanas. The brahmanas have no tendency to rule or accumulate wealth. Brahmana means that person who knows what is Brahman, the Absolute Truth, and who fully dedicates his life to give knowledge of Brahman to the illusioned, ignorant human society. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out who is an actual brahmana. Those persons who enlighten others in the science of the Bhagavad-gita as it is are the real brahmanas.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 26 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Embracing the Struggles

In Krishna's service, we do not mind struggle. We do not shy away from struggle. In fact, we embrace struggle with great enthusiasm. We have two struggles: the struggle to make ourselves Krishna conscious and the struggle to make the entire world population happy by enlightening them in the science of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Justify Caste System?

I have read in the Bhagavad- gita that the Lord Himself created the caste system consisting of four classes: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra. How could this be justified?

Santosh K.

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Answer: To Create Heaven on Earth

The caste system is created by Krishna for the purpose of enabling the human society to function in a healthy, progressive manner. Now the caste system is stifling. Why is this?

The first thing to understand is that there are two different caste systems. One is the divine caste system, and the other is the demoniac caste system. Krishna is the creator of the divine system, not the demoniac system. Just as in the human body there are natural divisions of labor between the head, arms, belly, and legs--similarly in the social body there is a natural division of labor between the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras. Brahmanas are the intellectuals and priests. Ksatriyas are the administrators and warriors. Vaisyas are the businessmen and farmers. And sudras are the workers. This is the divine caste system. Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita that these divisions are based on one's qualities and activities. He does not state that they are based on birth, as in the demoniac caste system.

In the divine caste system everyone is encouraged, trained, and facilitated, in whatever occupation best suits their nature. In this way there is full employment in the society. There are no frustrated, unemployed people. Everyone is employed in an occupation which is according to their nature. Thus everyone is encouraged and enthused.

The modern day demoniac caste system, which is still going on today in India, is based on one's birth. One is forced into a certain caste by his birth. This exploitative system was introduced by the unqualified sons of those who were actually qualified brahmanas to forcefully make themselves the leaders of the society.

A real brahmana is someone who knows the Absolute Truth and freely distributes it to everyone to elevate them also to the position of brahmana. The Krishna consciousness movement is presently engaged in the work of creating such real brahmanas to give spiritual guidance to a grossly misguided material society, which now needs it more than ever. Once the brahmana class is solidly established and respected all over the world, those engaged in the other occupations will take take guidance from the brahmanas how to execute their occupational duty in such a way that is pleasing to the Supreme Lord. In this way, when the the divine caste system is fully re-established, we will have heaven on earth. May that day come soon.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 25 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Always Happy in Krishna Consciousness

No matter what transpires in the devotee's daily life, he remains steady in rendering service to his spiritual master and Krishna. In this way, no matter what happens in this material world the devotee is always happy in Krishna consciousness and is the most powerful, successful, and wealthy person in this world. His opulence is his Krishna consciousness. He does not depend on material circumstances for his happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Blissful Vishnupriya Mataji

(wife of Sankarshan Das Adhikari)
Teaching the Science of Krishna Consciousness


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Excessive Krishna Consciousness?

Gurudeva,

Please accept my obeisances. Please guide me.

It is said that excess of everything is bad. Is it true in case of devotional service to Lord Krishna?

Ravi

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Answer: There Is No Such Thing.

The principle "excess is bad" applies only to material things. There is no such thing as having too much Krishna consciousness. No matter how much Krishna consciousness a devotee has, he always wants more. No matter how much he renders service to Krishna, the devotee is always greedy for more and more service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 24 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Deathlessness in a World of Death

There is one certain thing about this material world. It is a place of death. We never know when death will strike. We hope it will never happen to us. But sooner or later each of us will face the ultimate inevitable disaster, death. It may come with a warning, as in the case of someone who succumbs to a terminal disease. Or it may come unexpectedly like the earthquake which several days ago ravaged Christchurch, New Zealand killing so many people. This is why there is no greater necessity than coming to the platform of deathlessness by reviving our dormant Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. ISKCON's temple and deities in Christchurch were destroyed by the earthquake. For more information about ISKCON Christchurch go to: http://news.iskcon.org/node/3451




Powerful Earthquake Brings Death to Many in Christchurch, New Zealand


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Simultaneously Humble and Respected

Please accept my humble obeisances. May your mercy and blessings always be on me.

How can a person be humble and command respect at the same time?

Sunil

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Answer: Lamb at Home and Lion in the Chase

In world history it is the humble sages who ultimately command the most respect. The great saintly teachers are remembered long after the scientists, politicians, rock stars, and sports stars are forgotten. So if you cultivate the perfect humility of complete surrender to the will of Krishna, you will command great respect wherever you go all over the world.

But please understand that humility does not mean to accept all the cheating and dishonesty that is currently running rampant all over the world. Rather it means to serve the Lord's desire by fighting vehemently against it. Humility means to push forward the Krishna consciousness movement with great determination and enthusiasm all over the world for the deliverance of the suffering humanity from illusion and suffering. It means to bravely fight the darkness which has covered the eyes of all. The humble sage is a lamb before Guru and Krishna, but he is a lion when dealing with the ignorance which has blinded the entire human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 23 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

The Whole World is Waiting to be Awakened

The whole world is waiting to be awakened by Krishna's devotees. Even though it has advanced materially in so many ways, people are still not satisfied. The illusioned souls of this age are simply awaiting that opportune moment when their hearts will be touched by a devotee of Krishna and they can revive their dormant Krishna consciousness. Therefore there is no greater welfare work than sharing the teachings of Lord Krishna with everyone that you meet. So don't remain stone-hearted and selfish by keeping Krishna to yourself. Tell everyone about Krishna as much as possible whenever and wherever you get the opportunity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Upendra Das Tells Interested Lady About Krishna


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Free from Birth and Death?

Please explain how to get free from the cycle of birth and death.

Amit Gupta

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Answer: Implement the Many Instructions

All you have to do is fully surrender to Krishna according to the instructions He has given us in the Bhagavad-gita. But my concern is this: You have inquired from me for many years, but I don't see you doing anything to implement the many instructions of the Bhagavad-gita. Without implementation instructions have little or no meaning. So if you want actual deliverance from birth and death, you must now implement the many instructions you have received. Otherwise your inquiries are more or less a useless waste of time.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 22 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram-- Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

God's Secret Agent Kali Yuga Incarnation

Because of the profusion of false incarnations of God in this dark materialistic age of Kali, when the Supreme Lord appears in this age He does not present Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He instead presents Himself simply as a devotee of the Lord. In 1486 Lord Sri Krishna appeared in India as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Those who were highly learned in Vedic wisdom and advanced in transcendental realization could understand that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was indeed God Himself. But to curb down the charlatan pretenders He would not accept being worshipped as God.

This is further described by Srila Prabhupada in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam, First Canto, Chapter 2, Text 16 as follows:

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was God Himself according to the indication of the revealed scriptures, but He played the part of a devotee. People who knew Him to be God addressed Him as God, but He used to block His ears with His hands and chant the name of Lord Vishnu. He strongly protested against being called God, although undoubtedly He was God Himself. The Lord behaves so to warn us against unscrupulous men who take pleasure in being addressed as God."

Those who declare themselves to be God or allow their followers to present them as God are the worst cheaters and must be exposed so that the innocent public will not be misguided.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Caitanya, the Covered Incarnation



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Solve Loneliness Problem?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus flower feet.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have this problem of loneliness. All relationships feel too demanding for me. I should have only one thing to concentrate, not many. Now work is taking most of my efforts/energies, but I have problems with social relationships also there. I do not have courage or willingness to make any relationships. I avoid all social happenings. I just like to be in the forests and alone. I wish that would be possible, and I should not anymore do anything else. Life is somehow very difficult. What can I do to solve this problem?

Sincerely,
V.P.

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Answer: Cultivate Transcendental Relationships

I understand that you find relationships too demanding and that you would rather either be alone in the forest or just concentrating on your work without being disturbed by relationships. But please try to understand that because you are part and parcel of Krishna you are meant to have a loving relationship with Him. Therefore if all you do is earn money and commune with the forest without reviving your lost relationship with Krishna, you will never be satisfied.

Relationships only become frustrating when they are not favorable for our Krishna consciousness. Therefore the solution for your loneliness is that you must abandon or minimize as much as possible any of your relationships that are not helping your Krishna consciousness and simultaneously cultivate wonderful loving relationships with the spiritual master, Lord Sri Krishna, and His devotees. These relationships, when properly cultivated, are not too demanding. Indeed these relationships liberate us from all the miseries of material existence and qualify us at the time of death to go back to the original, pristine Vrindavan forest to live there in an eternal, fully blissful, all-cognizant wondrous existence of loving relationship with the inconceivably sublime Lord Sri Krishna and His incredibly amazing devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 21 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

$110,000 Loan Denied to Bogus Lord Rama

Yesterday we reported a bogus incarnation of Lord Rama who was asking us for a loan of 50 lakhs of Indian rupees to help him to be recognized in the world as Lord Rama. This was mistakenly noted as being the equivalent of US$1,100. But the actual amount our so-called Lord Rama was requesting was US$110,000. The sad state of affairs in this Kali yuga is that such bogus incarnations and charlatan gurus are able to attract followers and build movements.

Our so-called Lord Rama, though, did not get anywhere with us because we have been well trained by our spiritual master to easily spot such bogus incarnations and gurus. Since unfortunately, most people are not so well trained, they often fall victim to such charlatans. For want of enlightened governments such cheaters who speak all nonsense in the name of truth are able to perpetuate their crimes against humanity without being checked. Even during Lord Krishna's time there was a bogus incarnation named Paundraka, who challenged Lord Krishna that he, Paundraka, was the real Supreme Lord. Paundraka challenged Lord Krishna in battle and was beheaded by the Lord. In a similar way all of the cheaters are defeated by Lord Krishna in His all-powerful form of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Proper Mood For Devotional Service?

What is the mood of our devotional service supposed to be? I understand that we must be enthusiastic in devotional service but my question is: What should the intent of serving Krishna be? For joy?

I mean to say is it okay to approach Krishna consciousness as a way of experiencing happiness? I personally am asking this question because I want to experience Krishna Consciousness out of the curiosity of the joy or happiness it will bring. If this is the wrong approach, or if we should just think of it as simply serve Krishna and not worry about our own happiness, then please help me understand this subject.

MB

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Answer: Give Happiness to Krishna

Krishna consciousness means the mood of giving happiness instead of taking happiness. Just as a mother neglects her own comforts to give comfort to her child, the devotee of the Lord is more interested in giving the Lord pleasure than he is in deriving pleasure from his service to the Lord. The beauty of Krishna bhakti, devotion to Lord Krishna, is that this mood of selfless service catapults such a devotee into the highest region of pure, unlimited happiness.

It is sometimes said that one has to give of himself before he is worthy to receive, and this principle is quite essential in the practice of Krishna consciousness. Unless one is willing to sacrifice his own satisfaction for the satisfaction of the Lord, he will never be able to taste the full bliss of Krishna consciousness. And when one thus abandons all self-centeredness to become 100% Krishna-centered he will experience an unparalleled, uninterrupted, ever-increasing happiness, which is known only to those rare souls who have become perfect in loving God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 20 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Transforming Hell into Heaven

We live in world in which people are suffering greatly because of one problem only: They are not Krishna conscious. All of their other problems such as disease, food shortage, water shortage, crime, terrorism, air pollution, water pollution, and global warming are not the actual causes of their suffering. Rather these are simply symptoms of their lack of Krishna consciousness. If Krishna consciousness can be universally accepted as the foundation of the human civilization, this ever-increasingly more hellish planet will be transformed into a heaven on earth. Therefore there is no greater welfare work that one can dedicate his life to than spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world for the deliverance of the entire human society from illusion and misery.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Request: I Am Rama. Send Me 50,000 Rupees

I am Lord Rama. And I am here to implement a new strategy of loving and caring for everyone without any discrimination of caste and religion. Please help this wish. Please send 50 lakhs of Indian rupees * as loan to uphold my self respect, and I will return the amount with interest. Please help your Rama not to stand as beggar before the selfish persons. Help your Lord, so that he will save this world. Because now he is an ordinary human being, taking your help is also the part of your Lord's strategy to deal with this concrete jungle. Please understand the special strategy. With your help, I will be worldly to deal the worldly things. I am informing the cinema personalities to make movies about me, but they are not digesting my strategy. I need to pursue them with your help. Your support at this stage is very critical according to my physical position as ordinary human being in order to ascend to my position as the mighty king of this universe.

P.A. Ravishanker

* Editor's Note: 50 Lakhs of Indian rupees is US$1,100.

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Answer: You Are Nonsense, Not Lord Rama.

You are not Lord Rama. You are nonsense. We can understand who is a bona fide incarnation of God by the authorized descriptions given in the Vedic literatures. The Vedic scriptures reveal that after Lord Caitanya's advent 500 years ago that the next incarnation of God to manifest on this planet will be the Kalki avatar 427,000 years from now. Therefore we can understand that your claim to be Lord Rama is spurious. It is the greatest cheating to falsely present oneself as God. Those who cheat in this way are condemned to be punished in the darkest region of the universe. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to collect money under the pretense that you are Lord Rama come to save the world. Kindly give up this sinful business of falsely claiming you are God and earn your livelihood by honest means. It is better to be an honest sweeper in the street than to be a charlatan so-called incarnation of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 19 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Don't Be A Crazy Fool

Don't be a crazy fool who allows himself to be carried away by the misguided material civilization. It is sometimes said that fools rush in where angels fear to tread. So one should be careful what he dedicates his life to. If we simply dedicate our lives to taking care of our bodily needs, at the time of death when we are forcibly separated from our material body by the cruel laws of the material nature, we will be nowhere. Therefore the intelligent, philosophically inclined person fully dedicates his life for the reawakening of the actual self, the eternal spiritual being who resides within the body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who Should I Accept as Guru?

What if I have still not found my guru? Whom shall I seek help to enlighten me? Please guide me.

Deea.

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Answer: He Who Teaches Surrender to Krishna

When you find that person who is presenting to you the Bhagavad-gita as it is without any interpretation, addition, or subtraction, you have found your spiritual master. Nowadays the world is being misled by so many bogus gurus who are nothing more than charlatans because they take the words of Krishna and change them to suit their own philosophy.

For example in the Bhagavad-gita Krishna says, "Surrender unto Me." But one bogus guru said that it is not to Krishna that we should surrender but to the unborn and unmanifested. Such gurus who twist the words of Lord Krishna are to be carefully avoided because their so-called teachings keep us entangled in the cycle of birth and death.

So when you find that guru who purely represents Lord Sri Krishna by telling you to surrender to Krishna, you should fully surrender unto such a guru accepting him as your eternal spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 18 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Drop of Water on a Lotus Leaf

Our situation in this material world is very precarious. Just as a drop of water on a lotus leaf can easily fall off at any time, we have no security in this material world. We can be vanquished by the all-powerful material energy within a second. But if we take complete shelter of Krishna, fully depending on Him, by His grace we will always be protected in all times, places, and circumstances. Therefore the great Vaisnava poet and philosopher, Govinda Das, has very nicely sung as follows:

e dhana, yaubana, putra, parijana
ithe ki āche paratīti re
kamala-dala-jala, jīvana ṭalamala
bhajahū hari-pada nīti re

"What assurance of real happiness is there in all of one's wealth,
youthfulness, sons, and family members?
This life is tottering like a drop of water on a lotus leaf;
therefore you should always serve and worship the divine feet of Lord Hari."





If we heed these words of Govinda Das, we will no longer be afraid of the material energy. We will always feel safe in Krishna's shelter, even though we are in such a tottering, insecure, drop-of-water-on-a-lotus-leaf-like position within this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Know If I Have Found My Guru?

The majority of your articles talk about full surrender. This is possible for people who tasted the presence of their true guru. But I want to put my doubt humbly. How one can know that he has found his guru?

Enlighten me.

Rajesh

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Answer: 24 Hours Full Krishna Connection

You can know that you have found your spiritual master when you find that person who teaches you how to be fully connected with Krishna 24 hours daily.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Thursday 17 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

The Sublime Nature of Existential Reality

What could be more sublime than reality? Existence is itself the most wonderful, auspicious experience. It is only when we become covered by the illusion of bodily identification that we experience existence as something less, as something miserable. Therefore, for one who is in illusion there is nothing more important and essential than the reawakening of his original, divine, enlightened consciousness. One who is thus awakened is the most fortunate person in the entire universe, and out of compassion he naturally dedicates his life fully to the reawakening of all living beings. This is his sublime mission.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Circled the Globe Thirteen Times
to Deliver the Human Society from Illusion


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Demon Threatens to Steal My Next Body

Dear Spiritual Teacher,

I have been having some bad dreams. In these dreams a tall and aggressive female, Victoria, tells me she will steal the body intended for me in the next life and inhabit it. I turn to you at this time as you are a spiritual teacher.

A.R.

----------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Krishna Gives Full Protection

You don't have to worry. If you will take complete shelter of Krishna, you are not going to have whatever material body you were fated to have in your next life. By surrendering to Krishna you will instead return to the spiritual world to serve Krishna eternally in your original spiritual form. If you fully accept Lord Sri Krishna as your lord and master, you will never have anything to fear from ghostly and demoniac elements.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 16 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
----------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------
Today's Thought:

Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda

Today is the sublime appearance day of the most merciful Lord Nityananda. In the following excerpt from his introduction to the Srimad Bhagavatam Srila Prabhupada describes the wonderful mercy of Lord Nityananda:

"Once Nityananda Prabhu and Srila Haridasa Thakura were walking down a main road, and on the way they saw a roaring crowd assembled. Upon inquiring from passers-by, they understood that two brothers, named Jagai and Madhai, were creating a public disturbance in a drunken state. They also heard that these two brothers were born in a respectable brahmana family, but because of low association they had turned into debauchees of the worst type. They were not only drunkards but also meat-eaters, woman-hunters, dacoits and sinners of all description. Srila Nityananda Prabhu heard all of these stories and decided that these two fallen souls must be the first to be delivered. If they were delivered from their sinful life, then the good name of Lord Caitanya would be even still more glorified. Thinking in this way, Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa pushed their way through the crowd and asked the two brothers to chant the holy name of Lord Hari. The drunken brothers became enraged upon this request and attacked Nityananda Prabhu with filthy language. Both brothers chased them a considerable distance. In the evening the report of the preaching work was submitted to the Lord, and He was glad to learn that Nityananda and Haridasa had attempted to deliver such a stupid pair of fellows.

The next day Nityananda Prabhu went to see the brothers, and as soon as He approached them one of them threw a piece of earthen pot at Him. This struck Him on the forehead, and immediately blood began to flow. But Nityananda Prabhu was so kind that instead of protesting this heinous act, He said, "It does not matter that you have thrown this stone at Me. I still request you to chant the holy name of Lord Hari."

One of the brothers, Jagai, was astonished to see this behavior of Nityananda Prabhu, and he at once fell down at His feet and asked Him to pardon his sinful brother. When Madhai again attempted to hurt Nityananda Prabhu, Jagai stopped him and implored him to fall down at His feet. In the meantime the news of Nityananda's injury reached the Lord, who at once hurried to the spot in a fiery and angry mood. The Lord immediately invoked His Sudarsana cakra (the Lord's ultimate weapon, shaped like a wheel) to kill the sinners, but Nityananda Prabhu reminded Him of His mission. The mission of the Lord was to deliver the hopelessly fallen souls of Kali-yuga, and the brothers Jagai and Madhai were typical examples of these fallen souls. Ninety percent of the population of this age resembles these brothers, despite high birth and mundane respectability. According to the verdict of the revealed scriptures, the total population of the world in this age will be of the lowest sudra quality, or even lower. It should be noted that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never acknowledged the stereotyped caste system by birthright; rather, He strictly followed the verdict of the sastras in the matter of one's svarupa, or real identity.

When the Lord was invoking His Sudarsana cakra and Srila Nityananda Prabhu was imploring Him to forgive the two brothers, both the brothers fell down at the lotus feet of the Lord and begged His pardon for their gross behavior. The Lord was also asked by Nityananda Prabhu to accept these repenting souls, and the Lord agreed to accept them on one condition, that they henceforward completely give up all their sinful activities and habits of debauchery, both the brothers agreed and promised to give up all their sinful habits, and the kind Lord accepted them and did not again refer to their past misdeeds."

-- end of quote--

Let us all take advantage of this auspicious appearance day of Lord Nityananda and beg His mercy to bestow upon us pure Krishna prema.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Unlimitedly Merciful Lord Nityananda


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: My Chances of Going Back to Godhead?

Dear Gurudeva,

Kindly please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet!

My question is: If I'm in this material world repeatedly taking billions and billions of material bodies since time immemorial, then what are the chances of my going back to spiritual world back to home, back to the abode of God, after leaving my present body?

D.B. Patel
India

------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: With Full Surrender, 100 Percent

If you will take full shelter of Guru and Krishna by faithfully following whatever instructions you are given by them, your chances of attaining spiritual perfection in this lifetime are 100%. In other words, there will be no chance of failure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 15 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------
Today's Thought:

The Supreme Perfection of Our Existence

Why ignorantly suffer, wasting valuable time trying to be something that you are not, when you can instead live in your all-blissful all-cognizant identity as the eternal servant of the original source of all existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead? To come to this perfectional stage of being is real intelligence, which goes far, far beyond the so-called intelligence of the empirical scientists and the mental gymnasts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Blissful Hare Krishna Devotees


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is There Any Reason for Hope?

Your Grace, I want very badly to somehow get back home to God despite my ignorance and confusion (and endless questions). I fully understand that this will never happen without the help of the Holy Master. But, you know, it seems that I've spent my whole lifetime TRYING to grasp the Lord's will, and yet miserably failing to do so. I must have read the Gita at least several hundred times trying my best to understand the Lord's instructions to little avail. Now I'm 57 years old, physically-disabled, and in poor health. I can't imagine that I have much more time in this miserable life. I've tried so hard, Your Grace, and failed so many times. Honestly, is there any reason for hope? Please, Oh God, please illuminate my worthless mind. Srila Gurudeva, I am out of options. Even though I'm unworthy, please help me; I fall at Your Lotus Feet.

Sincerely,
A.K.

--------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------
Answer: There Is Unlimited Hope.

There is unlimited hope, so don't despair. You can now become completely perfect. If you will simply sincerely beg Lord Krishna that you can fully surrender to Him, from within as the Supersoul and externally through the transparent via medium of the bona fide spiritual master, He will give you all good guidance for becoming fully perfect in this lifetime so that you can go back to home, back to Godhead when you leave your present body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 14 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------
Today's Thought:

Our First Duty is to Find a Guru

Srila Prabhupada explains that our first duty in life is to find a bona fide spiritual master because this is the only way that we can solve life's ultimate problem, death. Most people are too much preoccupied with solving the temporary problems such as making money and getting ahead in the material world. The majority of the population is so dull that practically no one is interested in solving the death problem. Those most fortunate rare souls who are inclined to solve the death problem are enjoined by the Vedic wisdom to seek out and take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master because he is the only one who can solve this death problem for us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Gives Immortality


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Everyone Goes Back to Godhead?

Will all living entities eventually make it back to Godhead? Is there a need of a material world eternally?

D.P.

-------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------
Answer: Yes, But Others Will Still Come Here

All the living entities who are currently in this material world will eventually return to their original positions in the spiritual world never to return again to this material world. However, there will still be a need for the existence of the material world in order to accommodate those living entities in the spiritual world who are for the first time misusing their independence and thus falling down into the material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 13 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------
Today's Thought:

Smooth Running Bhakti Express

On 27 September 1967 Srila Prabhupada wrote in a letter to Devananda das, "Guru and Krishna are two parallel lines on which the spiritual express runs very smoothly." This is a most appropriate example because to advance in Krishna consciousness we must faithfully stick to both tracks: the spiritual master and Krishna. We must serve both of them simultaneously. If either of them is neglected, we become derailed from the pathway of Krishna bhakti. It is only by the mercy of Krishna that we get a bona fide spiritual master. And it is only by the mercy of the bona fide spiritual master that we can advance in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




A Train Runs Smoothly on Two Tracks



But When Derailed, It Is Finished


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can Krishna Trace When We Fell?

Hare Krishna, Gurudeva,

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

While reading "Easy Journey to Other Planets", this question came in my mind. Would you kindly clarify for me please?

Here's the quote from "Easy Journey to Other Planets":

"There is a spiritual sky, where there are innumerable spiritual planets and innumerable spiritual living entities, but those who are not fit to live in that spiritual world are sent to this material world. Voluntarily we have accepted this material body, but actually we are spirit souls who should not have accepted it. When and how we accepted it cannot be traced. No one can trace the history of when the conditioned soul first accepted the material body."

My question is that: Can even Krishna not trace when we first accepted the material body?

Thank you very much,

Your servant

Yogesh

-------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------
Answer: There is No Question of When

Krishna, being the perfect knower of everything, knows exactly how we fell into this material existence. But there is no question of when because our fall down occurred in timelessness. In the spiritual world time is conspicuous by its absence. Therefore because we were originally situated in timelessness our original misuse of independence also occurred in timelessness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 12 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

The World Needs an Abundance of Messiahs

A messiah is defined in the dictionary as someone who is a savior or liberator. There are many concepts of liberation in this world. People seek to be liberated from poverty, from disease, from political oppression, etc. But what most people fail to realize is that the only true liberation is liberation from death. Unless one is liberated from death he remains a slave. Although a person may think that he is free, death will come and take away everything. Therefore the true messiah or liberator is that person who liberates others from death.

How does he do that? Anyone who surrenders fully unto the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna becomes liberated from death and then liberates others by making them Krishna conscious also. Srila Prabhupada stated in Mumbai, India on April 15, 1977 that anyone who is Krishna conscious is the messiah. What the world needs now more than ever is an abundance of such real messiahs who deliver people from the clutches of death by enlightening them in the science of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




His Holiness Vishnujana Swami

Liberated Many Souls From Death


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Was I Not Attracted Earlier?

Namaste, Gurudeva.

If Krishna is so attractive, then why did I spend sixty years of miserable life before getting attracted to Him?

Your disciple,

Raju

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: You Were Attracted by Krishna's Maya

You have always been attracted to Krishna. Previously you were attracted by the glare of His material energy. Now you have been blessed with the understanding that there is something better than birth, death, old age, and disease. Therefore you have now become attracted directly to Him, who is the source of the material energy. Just see how fortunate you are! Now take complete advantage of this greatest good fortune by fully taking shelter of His divine lotus feet. By such attraction you will be delivered back to His eternal abode at the time of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 11 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
------------------------------ --------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

The Attractor of the Attractor of Cupid

In this material world everyone is under the sway of Cupid or Madana. Even the powerful Roman emperor, Julius Caesar, his heart pierced by the arrows of Cupid, became controlled by the Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Although Cupid is so powerful that he captivates everyone, he is captivated by the beauty of Krishna. Therefore Krishna is called, Madana-mohana, the attractor of Cupid. And even though Krishna is so attractive that he attracts the attractor of everyone, He is attracted by Srimati Radharani, who is therefore known as Madan- mohana-mohini, the attractor of the attractor of Cupid.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna, the Amazing Madana Mohana


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Bhagavad-gita at Start of Battle?

In the first chapter of the Bhagavad-gita it says that the conch shells were blown by the warriors on both sides. When the conch shell is blown the war begins the very next moment. The attendance was four million soldiers (1.6 million Pandavas and 2.4 million Kauravas).

Where was there so much time for the Bhagavad-gita to be spoken as the war was already on? Would four million people wait for two person's hour long conversation and then begin the war?

Your servant,
Dhaval

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Vedic Warriors Were Civilized

You mention four million soldiers, but Srila Prabhupada has informed us that according to the Mahabharata 640 million men were killed during the eighteen days of the Battle of Kurukshetra.

After the conch shells blew from both sides the battle was officially signaled to start. But it was put on hold when Arjuna dropped his bow and arrows and refused to fight. In Vedic warfare a soldier never attacks an enemy who has put down his weapons. The Vedic culture was indeed so civilized that millions of warriors would delay the battle until Krishna finished explaining the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna. This is real civilization, not like the barbaric modern day warriors who will attack an enemy while he is sleeping or will kill innocent civilians. The Vedic age was so civilized that after attempting to kill each other on the battlefield the enemy soldiers would get together in the evening and socialize as friends. So it is not at all astonishing that they would respectfully hold off the fighting until Krishna finished speaking the Bhagavad-gita.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 10 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------
Today's Thought:

Sri Advaita Acharya's Appearance Day

Today is the appearance day of Sri Advaita Acharya. Srila Prabhupada nicely describes Advaita Acharya as follows:

"Advaita Acharya was a contemporary of Lord Caitanya's father. He felt sorry for the condition of the world because even after Lord Krishna's appearance, no one had interest in devotional service to Krishna. This forgetfulness was so overwhelming that Advaita Prabhu was convinced that no one but Lord Krishna Himself could enlighten people about devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Therefore Advaita requested Lord Krishna to appear as Lord Caitanya. Offering tulasi leaves and Ganges water, He cried for the Lord's appearance. The Lord, being satisfied by His pure devotees, descends to satisfy them. As such, being pleased by Advaita Acharya, Lord Caitanya appeared."

He is also described in the following verse from the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita:

advaitaṁ hariṇādvaitād
ācāryaṁ bhakti-śaṁsanāt
bhaktāvatāram īśaṁ tam
advaitācāryam āśraye

"Because He is nondifferent from Hari, the Supreme Lord, He is called Advaita, and because He propagates the cult of devotion, He is called Acharya. He is the Lord and the incarnation of the Lord's devotee. Therefore I take shelter of Him."
--Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi 1.13

Let us all take advantage of His appearance day by begging Him to bless us with pure Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Advaita Acharya Begs the Lord to Appear


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Consciousness Without a Body?

Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Can you please explain more about the self? Without the mind, intelligence and the good ego, how does it see, hear or feel? What is a person's physical and mental condition when he has realized his self? How does he speak, listen or behave?

I am eagerly waiting for your answers.

Thank you so much.
Dinesh


--------------------------- -----------------------------------------------------
Answer: Self Does Not Require Material Body

The self is you, the actual person who is residing within the two coverings: the gross outer body and the subtle inner body. The gross body is composed of earth, water, fire, air, and ether. And the subtle body is composed of mind, intelligence, and false ego. The good ego or real ego is the actual self. The false ego is misidentification of the body with the self.

A man does not depend on wearing his outerwear and underwear in order to experience things. Even when he is naked he can experience so many things. In a similar way the living being does not depend on his gross and subtle bodily coverings in order to experience things. It is the false ego only which makes him think that he can only experience things through the gross and subtle bodies.

The self-realized person, the pure devotee of Krishna, although situated and experiencing things beyond the gross and subtle bodies continues to engage these two bodies in the Lord's service. Thus, just as an iron rod in contact with fire becomes fire, the gross and subtle bodies of Krishna's pure devotee become fully spiritualized because he engages them 24 hours daily 100% in the Lord's service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 9 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
--------------------------- -----------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Don't Be Carried Away by Maya

The illusory energy is always there testing our determination to be Krishna conscious. Just as a boat on the water can be swept away by a strong wind, if our mind becomes attracted by a material sense object, our intelligence can become completely carried away. Therefore, just like a soldier on the battlefield, we must always be vigilant not to fall under the sway of Maya's charms. In this world of many dangers we must beg Krishna to keep us always in the shelter of His divine lotus feet. In this way we will be safely situated on the transcendental platform, and Maya will not be able to allure us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Choose My Guru?

How to choose one's spiritual master from amongst a large number of ISKCON sannyasis who being staunch disciples of Srila Prabhupada are more or less equally qualified. Does one's inclination have any role to play in this regard?

Look forward to receiving your blessings in the shape of valuable guidance.

Thanking You.
Your Servant

Sumit

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Answer: Who Best Facilitates Your Krishna Consciousness?

You mention choosing an ISKCON guru from ISKCON's sannyasis. What makes you think that only a sannyasi can be a guru? Krishna's guru, Sandipani Muni, was a married man. Being a sannyasi is not the qualification to be a spiritual master. The qualification for being a bona fide spiritual master is given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that one must know the science of Krishna. In ISKCON there are many spiritual masters who are not sannyasis, who are married men. For example, I am initiating disciples all over the world, even though I am a married man. So kindly do not think that it is required for the spiritual master to a be sannyasi.

Regarding your dilemma, I understand that it may not be easy nowadays in ISKCON to select a spiritual master because ISKCON has so many spiritual masters. In the early days of ISKCON when one wanted to become initiated it was very simple. One would get initiated by Srila Prabhupada because he was the only initiating guru. But since he instructed us that after his disappearance the new devotees should take initiation from one of his disciples, now there are so many gurus from whom one can take initiation.

So what to do? How to decide which one? In my traveling and preaching all over the world, this is a question that I am often asked. Therefore the answer to this question should be widely propagated throughout ISKCON so that the devotees are not confused.

The simple answer is to accept whichever guru will best facilitate your Krishna consciousness. By associating with different gurus, hearing their lectures, and reading their writings you can see which one inspires you the most to be Krishna conscious. He is the one from whom you should take initiation. Simply be sincere to become a pure devotee of Krishna and Krishna from within will clearly guide you, "Here is your guru." In this regard Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita:

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te

"To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love,
I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."
--Bhagavad-gita 10.10

So in this way, if you will deeply absorb yourself in devotion to Krishna 24 hours daily, Krishna from within will clearly reveal to you who is your guru.

I wish you well in your search.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 8 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram- -Austin, Texas USA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Beyond the Gross and Subtle Bodies

In the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Third Chapter, verse 33 it is stated:

yatreme sad-asad-rūpe
pratiṣiddhe sva-saṁvidā
avidyayātmani kṛte
iti tad brahma-darśanam

"Whenever a person experiences, by self-realization, that both the gross and subtle bodies have nothing to do with the pure self, at that time he sees himself as well as the Lord."

So just see how important it is for the aspiring transcendentalist to be firmly convinced that he is not his gross body or his subtle body, which consists of the mind, intelligence, and false ego. This transcendental conviction gives him the all-important and essential access to realize his true self as an eternal spirit-soul servant of God and to realize the Supreme Self, as his eternal master, Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Karma and Free Will

Please explain what is karma and what is free will. When we consider these words it seems that they are contradictory. But the shastras or scriptures speak of these two principles existing simultaneously .

Sandeep

-------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Make Your Choice

Karma means that for every action there is a reaction. When you do something good, you are rewarded. And when you do something bad, you are punished. The law of karma acts upon those who are serving the Lord's illusory energy here in this material existence and binds one to cycle through an endless repetition of births and deaths in the material world. Those who opt to serve the Lord's spiritual energy are freed from the good and bad reactions of this material existence and enter into the Lord's transcendental abode at the time of death to live an eternal life, full of knowledge and full of bliss.

Free will means that you can decide whether you want to serve the Lord's spiritual energy to become free from karma's clutches and attain the spiritual world, or whether you want to serve the Lord's material energy and remain in karma's clutches in the endless cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 7 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------
Today's Thought:

Don't Be Razzle-Dazzled by Mayadevi

Srimati Mayadevi has done an incredibly good packaging job to razzle- dazzle or delude the minds of the lost, confused souls in this material world. She has bundled birth, death, old age, and disease in such a way that the common unenlightened man is very much attracted to continue lifetime after lifetime his incarceration within the prison of this material existence. Those who are actually wise are not deluded by Mayadevi's expert marketing job. They can see through the hype and are therefore not mislead and cheated by Maya's charms.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Attain Krishna Consciousness?

What does one have to do to attain Krishna consciousness. I chant rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day on japa beads. What else should I be doing to move towards Krishna consciousness?

Another question is: How does one know that he is self-realized? In other words, what happens when one becomes self realized, like what does he see and feel?

Jaynesh K.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Accept the Bona Fide Spiritual Master

Rupa Goswami describes that becoming Krishna conscious requires that one should take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master, get initiated by him, and strictly follow his orders. To accept such a spiritual master is the crucial point for advancement in spiritual life. One who is fortunate enough to come under the shelter of the bona fide spiritual master is sure to traverse the path of spiritual salvation without any doubt.

One can understand that he has become self-realized when he is lovingly absorbed in serving Krishna in all times, places, and circumstances so deeply that he constantly experiences Krishna within everything and everything within Krishna. Such a greatly fortunate self-realized soul has no interest at all in any type of material sense gratification, gross or subtle, because he is relishing the unlimited bliss of Krishna consciousness within his heart at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 6 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA

-------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------
Today's Thought:

Perfect Your Existence for Eternal Happiness

If a musical instrument is not properly tuned, when it is played it sounds horrible. Similarly when the living being is not in tune with the source of his existence, no matter what he may do to try to become situated in lasting happiness, he will be unsuccessful. Of course, if he has good karma, he may be able to go on for some time falsely thinking that he is happy in this material world. But time and tide wait for no man. Sooner or later he will be crushed by the inexorable wheel of time, and he will find that his material happiness has been completely ruined. Therefore if one wants enduring happiness, he must perfect his existence by bringing himself back into harmony with the source of his existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can You Be My Spiritual Master?

Thanks for your blessings. I am a fallen soul. Therefore I have taken birth in this materialistic age known as the Kali-yuga. I beg you, Prabhu, can you be my spiritual master and guide me in my journey of Krishna consciousness, I might not be eligible due to my past deeds to have you as my spiritual master, but I pray for your mercy to accept me because I really want to come out of this cycle of birth and death.

Please help me.

P.N.

---------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------
Answer: Yes, If You Will Follow My Instructions

This is very nice that you would like to become a disciple, because becoming a disciple is a required step on the pathway to spiritual perfection. Disciple means one who disciplines his life strictly according to the orders received from his spiritual master. If you are willing to place yourself fully under my instructions, I will be happy to accept you as my disciple. My instruction to all those who would like to become formally initiated as my disciples is that they should be recommended to me by their local ISKCON center as being qualified for initiation.

To qualify for being recommended the first thing is that you must be solidly fixed in following Srila Prabhupada's instruction to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads every day along with strictly avoiding illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication and gambling. After you have been doing this for at least six months, you can then be recommended by your local ISKCON center to formally take shelter of me as your future initiating spiritual master. And then after six months of this shelter, you can be recommended to me by your local ISKCON center as being qualified for initiation. Once these requirements have been met, I will be happy to accept you as my duly initiated disciple.

Sankarshan Das Adhikarii

Saturday 5 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------
Today's Thought:

The Total and Fragmental Energies

Who can deny that there is a total energy and that each one of us is a fragmental portion of that total energy? Srila Prabhupada has revealed to us that the total energy is Krishna or God. Hopefully those who try to prove that everything is an illusion, will realize now that it is their philosophy which is the illusion, not the total and fragmental energies.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can a Soul Leave Vaikuntha?

Dear Gurudeva,

You have told us that those souls in the spiritual world who have the desire to become God will come to this material world. If a soul is completely satisfied in the company of God in Vaikuntha, the spiritual world, how can he have an unsatisfied desire? If a perverted desire can come to the soul even while he is the company of God, what is the assurance that we will not fall back to the material world after reaching the spiritual world, Vaikuntha?

Satheesh

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Misuse of Independence

Because the minute living being is qualitatively one with the Lord, who is unlimitedly independent, the minute living being naturally possesses a minute degree of independence. If he misuses this independence, he comes to this material world to try to enjoy separately from the Lord, and thus suffers miserably in the cycle of repeated birth and death. After doing so, if he is indeed fortunate, he comes into contact with the bona fide spiritual master, who enlightens him about his original position in the spiritual world and how to regain it. Then with the merciful blessings of the spiritual master, he returns to his original position in the spiritual world never to make the same mistake again. The living being may misuse his minute independence once, but after having learned his lesson, he will not misuse his independence ever again.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 4 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------
Today's Thought:

Don't Be Carried Away by Phantasmagoria

The pure devotees, those who are fully enlightened with transcendental knowledge, are not carried away by the phantasmagoria, the illusory attractive nature, of this material existence. Rather they stay constantly absorbed in their original existential nature of devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original energetic source of all manifestations. In this way they are already liberated from all material conceptions of pleasure and distress and they are factually liberated even in the material world. This means that the pure devotees of the Lord are engaged in a transcendental existence, namely in the loving service of the Lord, both in the material world and in the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Conscious Twenty-Four Hours

Most of my life goes into thinking about my body, even if I try to avoid it. I work for ten hours every day. I take time to sleep. And I do a daily Krishna conscious program every morning. Out of my 24 hours I do only four hours of Krishna consciousness. And even that is distracted by material desires. So in this situation how can I be engaged 24 hours daily in the Lord's service? Offering the result of my work to the Lord is difficult due to my present circumstances.

Vikram

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Answer: Offer the Results of Your Job to Krishna.

I understand that you are having some difficulty offering the fruit of your work to Krishna. So you must beg Krishna to help you. Chanting at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna japa mala everyday, avoiding sinful activities, and offering the result of your work to Krishna are the most important principles for your spiritual progress.

It is not that difficult to be fully engaged in the Lord's service 24 hours daily, even while working a job 10 hours daily. Job means income. What you need to do is to fully engage whatever money you earn in the service of the Lord. In this way your 24 hours will be fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness. You should no longer think that your duty is to maintain your wife, family, and household. From now on you should think that you are working to maintain Krishna's household. In other words, you should solidly establish your home as an ashram, a place of spiritual cultivation, where all of the household paraphernalia is being directly engaged in Krishna's service. You should nicely maintain a Krishna altar in your home, and no food should be eaten by any family member unless it has first been offered to Krishna on the altar. It may take time to implement this atmosphere in your home. But even now the sincere endeavor to make this transformation of your home will give you the 24 hours absorption in Krishna consciousness that you require to be fully happy and satisfied on the transcendental platform.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 3 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Turn On the Light and Destroy the Darkness

In this dark materialistic age of Kali the overwhelming predominance of ignorance and out-and-out madness can be very discouraging and depressing at times. But there is no reason to be affected by all of this negativity. All we have to do to destroy this ocean of darkness is turn on the light of transcendental knowledge by reading the Bhagavad-gita carefully, seeing everything in its light, and then living every day in accordance with its amazingly lucid principles. In this way we will live in an eternal, blissful enlightened adventure always doing the highest good for all living beings throughout this universe and all the universes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Hoping for a Miracle

In one of the daily thoughts I read this question about chanting and being pure, that one should chant when pure, but even while impure one should start with the chanting because the chanting is purifying. Now I read that one has to reach the nistha stage, firm faith, before approaching guru. But I also read that one can only reach the state of nistha by the mercy of guru (after initiation). So can you please clarify this to me?

In any case the gap between my practice and the minimum formal qualifications seems too big to be crossed. So I just hope for some miracle and try to be in a prayerful state as much as possible.

Y.F.S.

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Answer: You've Already Got It.

You already have the miracle. The mercy of the spiritual master is causeless and miraculous because he represents the inconceivable mercy of Lord Nityananda, who was so kind to the most unqualified rascals: Jagai and Madai.

There are two types of faith on the path of spiritual perfection. The first is called sraddha or preliminary faith, and the second is called nistha, firm faith. Without preliminary faith a person would have no interest to approach the spiritual master. So it is preliminary faith which is required to approach the spiritual master, not nistha or firm faith. You obviously already possess preliminary faith. Otherwise you would not be approaching the spiritual master.

The second type of faith, nistha or firm faith, will come after you are initiated and you have freed yourself from all bad habits. That is a very advanced stage in which one fully realizes the Vedic wisdom within his heart. Now that you have sraddha or preliminary faith, I encourage you to take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master so you can clean your heart from the the dust accumulated over millions of lifetimes. To get initiated simply you need to become steady in chanting at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mantra japa mala daily along with strictly avoiding illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. In this way you will attain firm faith, the nistha stage, and will then easily progress from there to the perfectional stage, pure Krishna prema.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 2 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Don't Fall Into the Trap of Sanctimoniousness

To be sanctimonious is to make a false show of being very spiritually advanced. And sanctimoniousness is the foolish attitude of the sanctimonious person. In the material world where even the pauper is proud of his penny, everyone has the tendency to be proud of whatever he or she possesses. Therefore an aspiring transcendentalist has to be very careful not to fall into the trap of sanctimoniousness. He has to be very careful not to become proud of whatever spiritual progress he has made or whatever talents or opulences he possesses. If he does not check his pride, his pride will check him. To conquer over pride he should always feel himself to be lower than the straw in the street and offer all respect to others without demanding any respect for himself. This is one of the most sublime teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead who appeared in the form of His most merciful devotee 500 years ago in India.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Teacher


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Krishna Get Angry?

Does Krishna get angry anytime? If He does get angry, how does He react? Should a devotee get angry or not?

Thanks in advance,

Vinay

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Answer: Krishna Becomes the Most Angry

Krishna becomes very, very angry when His devotees are tortured. He became so angry when Hiranyakasipu was trying to kill Prahlada Maharaja that He appeared in the form of Lord Nrsimhadeva and ripped that rascal apart with His own finger nails.

If a devotee is personally insulted he remains meek and humble. But if the Lord or another devotee is insulted, he becomes angry like fire to chastise the blasphemer. Such anger is divine.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Lord Nrsimhadeva Protects His Devotees


Tuesday 1 February 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Be True to Your Guru. He's Saving You.

When after careful study of the revealed scriptures and due deliberation we accept someone as our spiritual master, we must be very careful to always faithfully follow his instructions because Krishna measures our devotion to Him by how much we are dedicated to our spiritual master. It is not that we simply use our spiritual master as a ladder to attain the transcendental platform and then after attaining it kick him away. No. We must always remain fully dedicated and surrendered to our spiritual master because it is by his mercy that we are being delivered from the vicious cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease. Even after going back to home, back to Godhead one still remains the eternal servant of his spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Stop My Personal Projects?

Is it necessary to leave one’s studies or personal projects to be able to practice Krishna consciousness? What influence does it have if I have thoughts and desires for improvement in all areas and I offer them to Krishna--for example, to be well situated economically to provide well for a family and not live in misery? The other matter concerns the principles. If one is having difficulty fulfilling some principle, is this a fault that impedes chanting the Maha Mantra?

It is supposed that the Maha Mantra is tremendous, so if we chant it we enter in contact with God and therefore we will have the best experiences of our life.

L.W.

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Answer: Offer Them to Krishna

One does not have to change one's position in society to become Krishna conscious. Whatever you are doing now, you simply do that for Krishna. That is Krishna consciousness. It is your duty to see that your family is comfortably taken care of. So you should be very responsible in this regard. The key is to remember that it is not your household. It is the property of Krishna. So now you should have a nice spiritual program with your family members in the morning and evening and work to maintain Krishna's household so that all the family members can peacefully practice Krishna consciousness and go back to home, back to Godhead.

In Krishna consciousness we have four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no intoxication and no gambling. If you are not able to follow these principles strictly, it will be more difficult for you to absorb yourself in Krishna consciousness. Therefore we advise you to strictly follow these principles so that you can progress along the path of bhakti without any impediment.

It is a fact that by chanting sincerely we will the experience the best of all possible lives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



















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