miércoles, 1 de septiembre de 2010

Today's Thought - September 2010

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.

Thursday 30 September 2010

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Flooded Yamuna

Here in Vrindavan we are seeing something very extraordinary. Because of the flooding the River Yamuna has come back to its original bank at Kaliya Ghat, the place where Lord Krishna jumped from the kadamba tree into the Yamuna to subdue the Kaliya serpent 5,000 years ago. When Krishna was here the Yamuna took the form of a great lake here in Vrindavana. I have been coming to Vrindavan regularly for the last 30 years, and I have only seen the Yamuna as a shallow stream that you can wade across. It is normally situated at least a half a mile from the site where Krishna jumped into it. But now for the first time in my experience it is indeed wonderful to see that Yamuna as again become a huge lake with its bank at Kaliya Ghat.

In the follow excerpt from the Krishna Book Srila Prabhupada describes the kadamba tree and how Yamuna took the form of a great lake:

"Sukadeva Goswami narrated the story as follows. Within the river Yamuna there was a great lake, and in that lake the black serpent Kaliya used to live. Because of his poison, the whole area was so contaminated that it emanated a poisonous vapor twenty-four hours a day. If a bird happened to even pass over the spot, it would immediately die and fall down into the water. Due to the poisonous effect of the Yamuna's vapors, the trees and grass near the bank of the Yamuna had all dried up. Lord Krishna saw the effect of the great serpent's poison: the whole river that ran before Vrindavana was now deadly.

"Krishna, who advented Himself just to kill all undesirable elements in the world, immediately climbed up into a big kadamba tree on the bank of the Yamuna. The kadamba is a tree bearing round yellow flowers that is generally seen only in the Vrindavana area. After climbing to the top of the tree, He tightened His belt cloth and, slapping His arms just like a wrestler, jumped into the midst of the poisonous lake."

There are so many wonderful ways to remember here in Vrindavana. Everyone who aspires for ultimate perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead should plan on spending some quality time at least once in their lifetime here in Vrindavana.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna Subdues Kaliya Serpent in River Yamuna



Flood Brings Yamuna to Kaliya Ghat
Sri Vrindavana Dhama--27 September 2010


Flood Transforms Yamuna into a Vast Lake
27 September 2010


View of Kesi Ghat from Madan Mohan Temple
27 September 2010



Updated Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2010-2011
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule

Updated Delhi Lecture Schedule

30 September
Bhagavad-gita Lecture
7:30PM--ISKCON East of Kailash

1 October
Srimad Bhagavatam Class
8:00am ISKCON Punjabi Bagh Temple

2 October
Uttama Bhakti Course
Session 1---7am to 10am
ISKCON Noida Temple

3 October
Srimad Bhagavatam Class
8:00am ISKCON East of Kailash Temple

3 October
Sunday Feast Lecture
1:00pm ISKCON East of Kailash Temple

3 October
Uttama Bhakti Course
Session 2---4pm to 7pm
ISKCON Noida Temple

3 October
Sunday Feast Lecture
730pm--9pm
ISKCON Noida temple

4 October
Srimad Bhagavatam Class
8:00am ISKCON East of Kailash Temple

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Attain Knowledge of God's Creation?

I would like to thank you for elaborating about Maheshwaraloka in "Thought for the Day" on Sunday 26 September 2010. Such wonderful knowledge and information!!!!!!

I would like to have more knowledge like that. In fact more than devotional service I'm interested in this type of knowledge. If it is ok with you to teach jnana yoga instead of bhakti yoga, can you please guide me to attain this kind of knowledge and information? It will be very nice of you if you can suggest me the texts and literature which will give me a complete knowledge about God's creation.

Gautam

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Answer: Read Srila Prabhupada's Books

If you want to become a master of Vedic knowledge all you have to do is read and apply the teachings of my most beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. You can find them available in the store at: www.krishna.com

There is no reason to teach jnana yoga (the yoga of knowledge) separately because when one becomes fully realized in bhakti yoga (the yoga of devotion) he automatically becomes the most learned jnani (wise man). If one wants jnana without bhakti, his knowledge will always remain imperfect and incomplete. So the intelligent thing to do is to cultivate knowledge and bhakti side by side by utilizing the knowledge as a springboard to catapult oneself into higher and higher dimensions of bhakti or devotion. Perfect knowledge of God and His creation is only revealed to those who purely love Him without any thought of material benefits.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 29 September 2010

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Sublime Govardhana Parikrama

Today, 28 September 2010, was an especially sweet and memorable day because today we did Govardhana Parikrama, the circumambulation of Govardhana Hill. This king of all mountains is an incarnation of Krishna and is thus very, very dear to Krishna's devotees. To do circumambulation of it is very spiritually rewarding because the devotee becomes empowered to absorb his consciousness more deeply in remembrance of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Glorifying Sri Vrindavana Dhama

At Govinda Kunda--28 September 2010
(Govardhana Hill is in the Background.)


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Am I Not that Strongly Devoted?

Am I born to accomplish an important task? If yes then why do I (though very rarely) often lose my confidence? Why Krishna does not respond to my cries? Why does He give me so many tests? Is there something wrong with my devotion? Is my love of Krishna not as strong as of that of Mirabai or Radharani?

Deeksha

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Answer: Our Neophyte Devotion is Deficient.

The important task that we are all born to accomplish is to fully surrender ourselves unto Lord Sri Krishna. In this world of dualities it is natural that sometimes we will feel confident and sometime lose our confidence. The only place where we can always feel confident is in the spiritual world.

Krishna is speaking to us at every minute, but because we are covered by lust, anger, greed, madness, illusion, and envy, we cannot hear Him.

We experience many tests because only because we are still clinging tightly to our material attachments. As soon as we let go and fully surrender to Krishna we will not experience any more obstacles.

In our present neophyte stage, there are so many things wrong with our devotion because our tendency is to approach God to fulfill our desires instead of to fulfill His desires. This is why we are far, far away from the level of devotion found in Mirabai and Srimati Radharani.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 28 September 2010

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Beg Only for Pure Krishna Bhakti

Every day millions and billions of people pray to God to fulfill their material desires. What most of them don't realize is what they should pray for. They do not know that whatever material happiness and distress they will experience is due to their karma and that therefore there is only one thing worth praying for--pure bhakti. If, by God's grace, we can be granted pure bhakti, pure devotional service, then we are automatically liberated from the reactions of our previous karma and fully provided by the Lord with whatever will best facilitate our loving service to Him. This means that we will become fully enlivened in transcendental bliss and completely free from anxiety regarding our material situation. So instead of nickel and diming the Lord begging for the cheap trinkets of material sense we should beg Him only for the unlimited wealth of pure devotional service unto Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Explaining the Pure
Bhakti
Science in Vrindavana
Madan Mohan Temple--27 September 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Origin of the Universe

You have written. "It is an ancient system that has been around ever since this universe began 155 trillion years ago." So I think you may know what existed before the universe began and how the universe begins. Is it a big bang or something else? Why Krishna created us? If every soul is personal as Krishna, there should be a number of them. How many souls exist?

Vibhor Jajoo
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Technology
Banaras Hindu University

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Answer: Strengthening Faith, Not Changing Faith

What is unknown to the scientists is that our universe is just one of millions and billions of universes, which are much bigger than ours. The unlimited millions and billions of universes in the material sky come into existence when Mahavishnu exhales and are destroyed when He inhales. The cycle of exhalation/creation and inhalation/destruction has been going on for all of eternity.

Krishna has expanded from Himself an infinite number of living beings so that He can enjoy a unique loving relationship with each and every one of them.

It can be scientifically demonstrated that explosions transform order into disorder. Therefore the idea that our highly ordered and structured universe came into being as a result of big bang or explosion is not a scientifically valid concept.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 27 September 2010

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Early Morning Vrindavana Ecstasy

This morning (26 September 2010), as is my usual practice, I rose before 3:00 am to bathe, dress in my early morning devotional attire (dhoti and chadar), and mark my body with tilaka (sacred clay). After completing part of my daily vow of chanting at least sixteen rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa mala beads I walked to the Krishna Balarama temple to attend an ecstatic worship service at 4:10 am in the samadhi (tomb) of my most beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Then at 4:30 am I returned to my quarters in the MVT-Bhaktivedanta Ashram to offer worship to our deities, Sri Sri Radha Damodar. It was a deeply ecstatic experience. As I offered them arati (worship) presenting before them various auspicious articles--incense, a ghee lamp, bathing water in a conch shell, a drying cloth, a flower, and a camara whisk--I sang a beautiful bhajan (devotional song) glorifying the Supreme Lord and His devotees as well as the many holy places of the Lord's transcendental pastimes in Vrindavan. It was so sweet and exhilarating to feel my connection through the medium of the arati ceremony and that wonderful song with all of those great personalities and holy places. This was a sublime reminder of my eternal identity as a surrendered servant of Lord Sri Krishna in His pastimes in the spiritual sky. If one enters deep enough into the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and such songs, he can be carried by their wings into that mellifluous (full of sweetness) transcendental dimension situated far, far beyond this miserable material existence.

Here's the lyrics to the beautiful song I sang:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Songs/Glories_of_Vrindavana_Lyrics.html

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Here Are Sri Sri Radha Damodar in Vrindavana

Photographed on 26 September 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Change of Faith?

I have a bit personal question. I want to know what you did before you come into contact with ISKCON. Why you think that Christianity is a half book and Krishna is the Supreme Lord? Is there anything about Christianity that forced you to look elsewhere? Why only Christian people turn to the Hare Krishna movement positively? I haven't seen a single Muslim person. Why do you love India when there are floods in Vrindavan currently? Did you believe in God before turning to Hare Krishna Movement?

Sorry if I asked too much.

Regards,
Vibhor


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Answer: Strengthening Faith, Not Changing Faith

Before I came into contact with ISKCON, the spiritual movement of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I was a spiritual seeker endeavoring to attain spiritual enlightenment. Because I understood the transcendental, universal nature of religion or spirituality I was not aligned with any particular faith. Rather I felt my myself to be connected with all religions because ultimately they are all one in that in their original pure forms they all teach that we should fully surrender ourselves to God.

There is a vast difference between modern day Christianity and what Christ actually taught. If one aligns with what Christ actually taught, there is nothing half-way about it. Christ taught pure bhakti just as Lord Krishna teaches pure bhakti. There is no question of choosing either Krishna or Jesus Christ because they are a package deal. When you truly accept either of them, you automatically accept both of them.

We have many wonderful Muslims who have joined our movement. Apparently you have not had the good fortune to meet any of them. In fact one of the greatest spiritual leaders of our movement, Srila Haridasa Thakur, was a Muslim. He was elevated to the post of Namacarya by Lord Caitanya due to his rigidly following the principle of chanting three hundred thousand holy names of the Lord daily: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Do you think the flooding of a river can take away the wonderful Krishna consciousness of thousands and millions of Indians? Please try analyze things with a cool brain.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 26 September 2010

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Amazing Indian Hospitality

Even before arriving here in Vrindavana we had the most wonderful heart-warming experience. On our way out of Delhi we stopped at the Apollo Hospital for a doctor's appointment. The waiting room was crowded, and I needed a place where I could plug in my computer and write and then upload "Thought for the Day". To my amazement the gentleman in charge of the waiting room gave me his desk and his chair for doing my work. This desk was a necessary part of the service that he and his assistant had to do. But still he most graciously gave it to me, and he and his assistant just somehow squeezed around me to get their work done. I could never expect to receive such generous hospitality in a public place anywhere in the Western countries. This experience demonstrates the sweetness of Indian culture that even a total stranger would be treated with such kindness even to point of creating inconvenience for those who are providing the hospitality. I was never made to feel that I should hurry up and finish my work so that they could again have their work space. I was welcome to stay there using their work space for as long as I needed it. I used it for almost two hours.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Apollo Hospital Staff Gave Me Their Work Space.



Even Though They Had to Work Around Me...


...They Joyfully Accepted My Intrusion.



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Where is Maheshwaraloka?

There is a Maheswaraloka in the spiritual world. What is the position of this planet? Who are its inhabitants? What is their eternal position? How does one reach this planet?

Radhagopal das

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Answer: Between the Material and Spiritual Worlds

Maheshwarloka or Mahesh-dhama is not in the spiritual world. It is also known as Shivaloka and it is on the boundary between the spiritual world and the material world. Devi-dhama is the material world. Hari-dhama is the spiritual world. And Mahesh-dhama is in between them.

The conditioned living entities who wish to become liberated from the miseries of material existence are given a chance within Devi-dhama to seek liberation. Some of them become the Lord's devotees and enter Hari-dhama, some of them want to merge into the Lord's existence and enter Mahesh-dhama, and some of them remain within Devi-dhama.

Mahesh-dhama is the marginal place between Hari-dhama and Devi-dhama. The impersonalists who want to merge into the existence of the Transcendence are placed within Mahesh-dhama. It is also the destination of the Buddhists who attain nirvana. Those who want to remain within the planetary systems of the material universes do so on various planets. But those who want to go outside the material energy can enter Hari-dhama and go either to the various planets there or directly to Krishnaloka, the planet of Lord Krishna. The system of bhakti-yoga makes one eligible to enter Hari-dhama, the system of jnana-yoga makes one eligible to enter Mahesh-dhama, and the system of karma-yoga obliges one to remain in Devi-dhama repeatedly being born and dying, and changing his material covering according to the standard of karma he performs.

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

This Mahesh-dhama or Shivaloka is also the destination of those who attain nirvana as described in Buddhist philosophy. Those who attain nirvana in Mahesh-dhama are also liberated. But they are not in the spiritual world. They are in the marginal place known as nirvana. Their material existence is finished, but their spiritual development is not there. So finishing material existence is not the all in all.

Nirvana is just like a man who is suffering from fever, and the fever subsides, but still he has not fully recovered his health. He is still lying in the bed. Full health will be when he can get up out of the bed and work again with full energy. For now, even though his fever has subsided he is still recuperating in the bed. This is the stage known as nirvana.

So when your material existence is finished, that is nirvana. But you have to go further. Then your real, constitutional life as spirit soul will be manifested. So that is bhakti-yoga or devotional service to the Supreme Lord. This devotional service is healthy life after nirvana. So those who are in Krishna consciousness, they have already passed this material existence and nirvana stage. They are in healthy activities, provided they are actually engaged in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 25 September 2010

from Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

A Glorious Feeling in India

24 September 2010--It was such a glorious feeling landing in India today. Even though gross materialism has ravaged India, still the vestiges of Vedic culture are still very strong here. At the airport when we went through customs, the customs official seeing that we are devotees of Lord Krishna happily said "Hare Krishna" to us and offered us his respectful namaskar with folded palms. Then we were greeted so sweetly by the devotees who offered us flower garlands and took over pushing our luggage carts. We were driven straight to the guest house at ISKCON's East of Kailash temple in Delhi where we were given a sumptuous breakfast and a guest room where we could shower, rest, and freshen up from the over night flight from London before being driving to Vrindavan by our driver the sweet, friendly Radharamana Das.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Lord's Transcendental Home in this World



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Remember God All the Time?

Whenever I feel distress I take shelter of God. But when my stress is gone I feel happy and forget God. What is the actual reason for this? How can I remember God at every movement of my life? I try my best to do so but always fail. What is the easiest way to remember God all the time?

Your servant,
Rajkumar

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Answer: Be Always Aware of Your Precarious Position

Because of our selfishness we turn to God when we are in need and forget Him when everything is going okay. But this is our illusion. We forget that we are living precariously on the edge of death at every minute and that we therefore must constantly take shelter of Him so that upon leaving our bodies we will not take birth again in this material world and will attain instead His eternal abode.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 24 September 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Back to the Land of Krishna

What a glorious day! Today is the day is that we return to Lord Sri Krishna's transcendental abode manifested here in this material world. Today is the day that we return to the holy land of Vrindavan. To think that a mere 5,000 years ago the Supreme Lord Himself touched His lotus feet on that sacred land greatly inspires the imagination. And that I will now get the opportunity to reside in that sacred land for three weeks is the greatest, most inconceivably wonderful blessing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Lord's Transcendental Home in this World



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Have Steady Sadhana?

I have been initiated five years ago. But my sadhana (devotional practice) is not that steady. Sometimes I'm able to chant all my 16 rounds of mantra meditation in the morning before leaving for work, and I sometimes chant most of my rounds after work. I get really frustrated when my sadhana is bad, and that discourages me to perform my sadhana well the following day. What could be the main reason for one to have unsteady sadhana? Is it offenses? Is it lack of prayers to the Vaishnavas, the guru and the Supreme Lord? I really want to achieve pure devotional service to please my spiritual master, but due to unsteady sadhana my progress in Krishna consciousness is hampered. How can I be always absorbed in meditating on assisting my spiritual master's mission rather than being entangled in my own mental conditioning. Please enlighten and inspire me.

Y.Y.D.D

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Answer: Become More Attentive in Your Sadhana

Unsteady sadhana is due to inattentiveness. If you will simply more deeply absorb your consciousness in all of your devotional activities, you will overcome your unsteadiness and become more solid than a rock in your Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 23 September 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

The Greatest Opportunity

This human life is the greatest opportunity to find permanent happiness. Although we have been rotating in the cycle of birth and death since time immemorial undergoing so many varieties of miseries, if we can awaken our dormant spiritual nature, our Krishna consciousness, we will automatically become transcendentally situated beyond all the otherwise unavoidable miserable conditions of material existence. The Ultimate Self Realization course is designed to take you to that enlightened state.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Dragged Through the Cycle of Birth and Death



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Lord Krishna and Jagannath

I am from Orissa, India. So as in any household in Orissa, in my home also I was taught from the childhood that Jagannath is Lord of all Universe (Jagat-Nath). He is Purushottam or the supreme personality of the universe. If we pray to Him, we will attain liberation from this material world as he is Patita Pavana, the saviour of the fallen.

Now after reading Bhagavad Gita As It Is, I am in doubt that if Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is Lord Jagannath a demigod? Are Lord Krishna and Lord Jagannath not the same? Is the name Jagannath as powerful as Krishna's name? Whom shall I pray, Krishna or Jagannath? If I pray to Lord Jagannath, Krishna will be pleased and vice versa? Can we attain moksha by being devoted to Jagannath?

Thank you.

Sindhu

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Answer: They Are One and the Same

There is no need for confusion. Lord Sri Krishna and Lord Jagannatha are one and the same. Lord Jagannatha is Lord Krishna in ecstatic remembrance of His Vrindavan pastimes. So whether you pray to Lord Krishna or Lord Jagannatha does not matter because they are both the same Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 22 September 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Walking Dog or Walking God

In this world everybody wants to love somebody, and if they cannot find anyone to give their love to, they will keep a dog and give their love to him taking him on a walk every morning. But the difficulty in the modern world is that people lack the understanding of where to repose their love so that they and everyone else becomes fully satisfied. In the ultimate self realization system known as Krishna consciousness we teach everyone where to repose their love for bringing perfect and complete satisfaction to all living beings throughout the entire universe. Just as when we water the root of a tree the leaves and branches are nourished, when we give our love to Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, everyone becomes satisfied.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




One Result is Derived from Walking a Dog



Entirely Different Result Comes from Walking God
Burgas, Bulgaria Ratha Yatra--19 September 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Our Friend Says God Does Not Exist

We have received a mail from our friend who is saying there is no God and no existence of God. He says that God is an imaginary crutch, that when a man feels any weakness he calls to God, and that when he feels more happy he feels no need for the existence of God.

Rajkumar

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Answer: Ask Him to Prove that He Exists

If your friend says that God does not exist, ask him to prove that he exists.

Its a fact that materialists turn to God when they are in distress and deny His existence when they are free from distress. Just see what a selfish mentality this is.

God positively exists as an objective reality whether we are in distress or in happiness. How do we know this? Here's how:

God means the origin. It has been scientifically proven that everything comes from something. There is no instance in the history of the universe of something coming out of nothing. Therefore there must be an origin for the universe and therefore the existence of God is a scientific reality.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 21 September 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Even More Bliss in Burgas

On Sunday 19 September 2010 we experienced even more bliss in Burgas, Bulgaria. It was our second Ratha Yatra festival within three days. This time there was a nice hall program arranged after the end of the parade. The venue was a prominent art gallery. When we arrived at the gallery I was happy that there was an entire hall full of people sitting in their chairs waiting patiently for the program to begin. It was such a satisfying feeling to dive deeply into kirtan in the presence of so many people and to then explain in powerful and attractive way the science of Krishna consciousness. I was very pleased with the way my disciple, Nitai Candra Das, arranged for my preaching. In addition to the hall lecture he also arranged for me to be interviewed by two different television stations.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Ratha Yatra Festival

Blesses Burgas, Bulgaria With Bliss
19 September 2010


Jagannatha, the Lord of the Universe
Along with Balarama and Subhadra
Blesses Burgas, Bulgaria


Ecstatice Ratha Yatra Kirtan in Burgas
A Challenge to the McDonald's Double Arches
(on top of building in rear of photo)


Post Parade Lecture in Art Gallery


TV Interview in Burgas--20 September 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Sin in Eating Vegetarian Food?

You wrote in "Thought for the Day":

"Whether you kill the animal yourself or you take the flesh of animal that has been killed by someone else, you are either the murderer or an accomplice to the murder. In either case you will suffer the reaction and be killed and eaten by that animal in the future."

But then even if we eat vegetarian foods offered to Lord Krishna there are numerous organisms in them and we are eating them also. So does that mean in the future we will also be eaten by these organisms?

Gautam

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Answer: Krishna Prasadam is Sinless

If one eats vegetarian foods which are not offered to Krishna, one still remains subject to the karmic law of action and reaction because living beings are killed even while preparing and eating vegetarian foods. But there are no sinful reactions incurred in eating the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Krishna. Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita that such eating frees one from all kinds of sins. This does not mean, however, that one can offer meat, fish, or eggs to Krishna. Such offerings cannot be made because Krishna does not accept them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 20 September 2010

from Varna, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

A Festival at Every Moment

Experiencing two Ratha Yatra festivals in three days here in Bulgaria: one on Friday in Sliven and one on Sunday in Burgas--reminds me that the real meaning of being Krishna conscious is to be celebrating a festival of the transcendental bliss of love of Godhead at every minute. There is no reason to ever be in anxiety or misery ever again. One simply has to always remember that He is the eternal servant of Krishna and always stay engaged in serving Him and remembering Him. This is real success. Any other sort of life is a pathetic failure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Singing and Dancing in Ecstasy

For Lord Jagannatha, the Lord of the Universe
Sliven, Bulgaria--17 September 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Submission to Guru is Necessary?

Why should being submissive be so necessary? Why shouldn't the spiritual master accept his/her students as friends?

Rajendra

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Answer: Without Submission There is No Question of Guru

We certainly have no better friend than Krishna and His representative, the bona fide spiritual master. But this does not mean that we accept them like ordinary friends.

Friend means that I may agree or disagree. Spiritual master means that there is no question of disagreement. I must fully accept as authoritative everything that he says. As long as there is any question of disagreement there is no question of that person being my spiritual master. Question of disagreement means that I only accept that person as my friend, not as my spiritual master.

In the Bhagavad-gita as long as Arjuna accepted Krishna as his friend, with whom he could argue, Arjuna remained in anxiety. It is only when he agreed to totally accept whatever Krishna told him without argument that his illusion and anxiety were dispelled.

Therefore, if we want to also become completely free from illusion and anxiety, we must fully surrender ourselves to Krishna or to that person who purely represents Krishna, i.e. the bona fide spiritual master, without argument.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 19 September 2010

from Varna, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Sweetest Happiness in Sliven

After an ecstatic two hour Ratha Yatra parade through Sliven, Bulgaria we assembled in a park near the end of the parade route. I was requested by the festival organizer to speak on Krishna consciousness. Although the crowd was small, they heard my lecture very attentively and many of them joined in with us in chanting. At the end of my lecture a young man with a Mohawk haircut asked me how old I am. I replied that although my body is 62 years old I am an eternal youth with an infinitely old soul and that he is also an eternally young, infinitely old spiritual being. He liked my answer. And then a middle aged woman asked me who she could contact locally to find out more about Krishna consciousness. This question satisfied me greatly that here is a person who is seriously interested in the sublime process of Krishna consciousness. I referred her to our festival organizer, Vraja Krishna Das, who is from Sliven.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sweet Nectar--Singing and Dancing

For Lord Jagannatha, the Lord of the Universe


Every Step Takes the Devotees Closer to the Spiritual Sky


All Along the Parade Route People Were Captivated
By the Beautiful, Joyous Ratha Yatra Celebration


Secret of Happiness Revealed in Sliven, Bulgaria
19 September 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Success and Failure?

I want to know your definition of success and failure. Your answer should be a general answer and not just restricted to spirituality only.

Dhaval


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Answer: To Be or Not Be Krishna Conscious

Krishna instructs us to inquire from the spiritual master submissively. Therefore our inquiries should be open-ended without any restrictions. Restrictions means that we are trying to manipulate the answer instead of being submissive to whatever the answer may be.

The underlying reality of everything is spiritual. Therefore the complete answer must be spiritual. Your idea that a spiritual answer is restrictive is a misconception. A so-called general answer which is not allowed to be spiritual must necessarily therefore be an imperfect and incomplete answer.

Since as a spiritual master my duty is to fully answer questions in a manner which will enlighten the inquirer and others, I will not be able to answer your question in the restrictive and therefore imperfect and incomplete manner as you have requested.

The only real success is to be Krishna conscious, and the only real failure is to not be Krishna conscious. The so-called general success and failure is an illusion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 18 September 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Ratha Yatra Bliss

Friday 17 September 2010--Today we are heading out across Bulgaria for a Ratha Yatra festival being held this afternoon in Sliven, Bulgaria followed by one tomorrow in Burgas, Bulgaria. This is how the human society should be arranged to uplift the consciousness of the suffering human society. Every day there should be transcendental festivities going on all over the planet. Ratha Yatra is a joyous occasion of pulling the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Jagannatha, along with His brother, Balarama, and His sister, Subhadra devi, through the streets of the city to extend their mercy to whoever happens to see them as they pass along the road way. I am still remembering how sweet the Sliven Ratha Yatra festival was in 2008 (pictured below), and am eagerly anticipating my arrival at the festival site.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ratha Yatra Bliss in Sliven, Bulgaria

20 September 2008


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is This Krishna's Eye?



I received this photo called the "Eye of God" with a note that it is a very rare photo, taken by NASA with the Hubble telescope of an event that only occurs once in 3000 years. Is it Lord Krishna's eye?

Your Servant
Selva

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Answer: Not Perceivable by Blunt Material Senses

Krishna's eyes cannot be perceived by our blunt material senses. For someone to be able to see Krishna's eyes they have to purify their vision with the ointment of love of God.

Although the beautiful outer space configuration in the picture is part of the Lord's virata rupa or His universal form, it is not one of His transcendental eyes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 17 September 2010

from Sofia, Bulgariafrom Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

The Zenith of Spiritual Perfection

There are many systems of elevating the consciousness that will bring the practitioner to varying degrees of spiritual advancement. But if one is desires to achieve the topmost platform, the zenith of spiritual perfection, he should heed the words of Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. The Lord reveals in Bhagavad-gita 6:47 that of all yogis or transcendentalists the one who serves Him in pure love is on the highest level of spiritual perfection. Krishna acknowledges and reciprocates with all varieties of transcendentalists, but His special mercy is exclusively for those transcendentalists who are fully devoted to Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Transcendental Greeting in Sofia, Bulgaria

13 September 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why We Fell from the Spiritual World?

It leaves me to wonder that if Krishna is all attractive, how is it that we fall from the spiritual world? How can we get attracted to a world of suffering, old age, and disease?

Also, Krishna says that once we are with him in his abode we don't come back.

Your humble servant,

Pooja

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Answer: Our First Business is to Go Back

If someone shoots an arrow into your chest, what will be your first business? To see where the arrow came from or to pull it out?

You are inquiring why you have fallen into this material world, but your first business should be to inquire how to get back to spiritual world, not how you fell. Just as once you pull the arrow out of your chest you can then investigate to see where it came from, in a similar way once you are back in spiritual world you will easily see how you fell so that you will not make the same mistake again.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 16 September 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Living in Krishna in London

Our brief stop in London on the way to Bulgaria was ecstatic, a sublime opportunity to once again share the inner secrets of the amazing transcendental science of Krishna consciousness. I explained to the packed hall of eager listeners how even though a devotee may externally be living in London, the real fact is that he is living in Krishna. In our everyday life someone may inquire from us where we live. As a matter of ordinary etiquette we politely tell them our place residence. But in the higher sense the devotee of the Lord does not live in this or that place in this material world. He factually resides in Krishna and Krishna resides in Him. To whatever extent we make Krishna our place of residence to that degree He will be more than ten times present within us. In conclusion, we all have a choice where we want to live. We can live in Krishna as His eternal servants or we can accept this material world as our place of residence and endlessly suffer the repetition of birth and death. The choice is ours.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lecture in London--12 September 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: More Arguments Against Meat Eating

Can you give a lengthy explanation on the topic of meat eating especially to non devotees and also to enlighten devotees as myself how to explain others?

Your humble servant,

N.P.

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Answer: Sastric and Environmental Arguments

Our principle of avoiding meat eating is very simple. We are enjoined by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita 3.13 that we can only take Krishna prasadam as our food, that if we eat food that has not been offered to Krishna we are eating only sin. And in Bhagavad-gita 9.26 Krishna lists which kinds of foods are acceptable for being offered to Him. He only lists vegetarian foods. He does not ask for flesh. Therefore since flesh cannot be offered and since unoffered food is sinful, meat eating is sinful.

The sinfulness of meat eating is also confirmed in the Vedic literatures as follows:

na māṁsa-bhakṣaṇe doṣo
na madye na ca maithune
pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ
nivṛttis tu mahā-phalā


"It may be considered that meat-eating, intoxication and sex indulgence are natural propensities of the conditioned souls, and therefore such persons should not be condemned for these activities. But unless one gives up such sinful activities, there is no possibility of achieving the actual perfection of life."
--Manu-saṁhitā 5.56

ye tv anevaṁ-vido 'santaḥ
stabdhāḥ sad-abhimāninaḥ
paśūn druhyanti viśrabdhāḥ
pretya khādanti te ca tān

"Those sinful persons who are ignorant of actual religious principles, yet consider themselves to be completely pious, without compunction commit violence against innocent animals who are fully trusting in them. In their next lives, such sinful persons will be eaten by the same creatures they have killed in this world."
--SB 11.5.14

There are also many arguments against meat eating from the environmental perspective. For some of these please refer to the following web page for more information:

www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Meat_and_the_Environment

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 15 September 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Srimati Radharani's Appearance Day

Today is the most auspicious appearance day of Srimati Radharani, the most beloved of all of Krishna's devotees. I always relish the wonderful instruction that Srila Prabhupada gave us on how to pray to Radharani. "My dear mother, Radharani, please tell about me to your Krishna." Krishna is very difficult to approach. But Srimati Radharani has a wonderful softhearted easy-to-approach feminine nature, and Krishna is completely captivated by her. So if we beg her to put in a good word for us with Krishna, Srila Prabhupada explains that she will immediately recommend us to her beloved Lord, "Krishna, here is a devotee. He is better than Me." No one can please Krishna better than Radharani. So when He hears from her that there is a devotee better than her, He immediately wants to see who is this devotee who is better than Radharani. In this way by the mercy of Radharani we become qualified to receive the mercy of Krishna. This is the loving kindness of Srimati Radharani. She is always attracting the attention of Krishna to those devotees who beg for her mercy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srimati Radharani Serves Her Beloved Lord With the Sweetest Love



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Significance of Krishna's Peacock Feather


What is the significance of the peacock's feather in Krishna's hair?

Lucky

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Answer: It's Very Beautiful

Krishna dresses according to His own taste. He obviously finds the peacock feather to be very attractive and therefore wears it. And it is is a fact that the peacock feather is very beautiful. Who can deny it?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 14 September 2010

from London, England
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Today's Thought:

Deathless Heroes

A devotee of the Lord has the indomitable determination to never be defeated by the material energy and thus he constantly takes shelter of Lord Sri Krishna to insure that is always protected. In this way by the sweet grace of Krishna he is always victorious in his struggle to remain free from the control of the material energy. Such liberated souls are the greatest heroes in this world because while other heroes are defeated by death the devotee heroes are deathless.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Scripture Prohibits Meat Eating?

A friend of my friend argues that there is no reference in Hindu scriptures that meat eating is prohibited. Is this true? How can I convince him that meat eating is not permitted in Hinduism? Is there any reference in our Vedic scriptures about this?

Ashish

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Answer: He Eats Me

The law of karma is equally applicable to everyone. Whether one identifies with a particular "ism" or not, the law of karma will still apply. If someone is speeding on the highway, he will be given a ticket no matter whether he is a Christian, Hindu, or atheist.

So no matter what your "ism", if you kill an animal, then you must be killed by that animal. It is stated in the sastras "mam sa khadati". This means "He eats me." This is why the word in Sanskrit for flesh is mamsa, which literally means "me he" as in "He eats me."

Whether you kill the animal yourself or you take the flesh of animal that has been killed by someone else, you are either the murderer or an accomplice to the murder. In either case you will suffer the reaction and be killed and eaten by that animal in the future.

So those who want to eat meat should be educated properly so that they will understand the karmic consequences of their meat eating.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 13 September 2010

from London, England
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Today's Thought:

Our Only Possession

Last Saturday 11 September 2010 as we were flying from Austin to Dallas to catch our flight to London there was some doubt whether we would make it on time or not. We had a tight connection in Dallas to begin with. And then on top of that our flight from Austin was delayed by another 40 minutes. This left us with the very real possibility of missing our flight to London. What made it even more harrowing was that after landing in Dallas we had to transfer from terminal A to terminal D to get to our London flight.

When such difficulties come there is only so much we can do to counteract them. We have to do everything possible from our side and then depend on Krishna for the rest. So I did everything I could. I called American Airlines and got their assurance that there was available space for us to rebooked on a later flight if we missed our flight. As we were landing in Dallas the realization flashed through my brain that there is only one thing that we can truly possess. And that is our Krishna consciousness. Nothing can take this away from us. This thought gave me great peace. If you have Krishna, you have everything. Anything else that we may think we possess will be ripped away from us sooner or later by the inexorable wheel of time.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Gain the Ultimate Realization?

Gurudeva,

I want to know what do we have to do to gain the ultimate realization. I want to know the methods to achieve this. I really want to practice this. I hope you will guide me. I am a Hindu man from Bhutan.

Pulami

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Answer: Always Be Krishna Conscious

The simple method for attaining spiritual perfection is given by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
ātmānaṁ mat-parāyaṇaḥ


"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee,
offer obeisances to Me and worship Me.
Being completely absorbed in Me,
surely you will come to Me."
Bhagavad-gita 9.34

From the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you take rest at night always remember Krishna. The following web page will give you practical tips how to do this:

www.ultimateselfrealization.com/kc_at_home.htm

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 12 September 2010

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

World in Desperate Need

The world is in desperate need of Krishna consciousness. Lacking transcendental knowledge, almost the entire human society is totally engrossed in material sense gratification. Thus most people will descend to the animal kingdom in their next birth. Those who are thoughtful and compassionate cannot tolerate such a pitiable situation. Therefore they fully dedicate their lives to trying to awaken the sleeping human civilization.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who Understands God Better?

I have been practicing Krishna consciousness for a few months, and I wanted to ask you a question about seeing Krishna:

One of the most beautiful experiences for me is feeling God's presence in everything, but I have been told that when you advance in your spiritual journey you can literally see Krishna face to face. Does Krishna appear in the same form to everyone?

Does a Hare Krishna have a better understanding than a Christian or a Muslim?

Stefano

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Answer: Those Who Are the Most Surrendered

Krishna reveals himself to His devotees according to their degree of surrender. Therefore a person who is more surrendered will perceive Krishna more completely from someone who is less surrendered.

One does not attain spiritual understanding by identifying with a label. One's spiritual understanding is awakened to the degree of how much he has fully surrendered himself to the will of God as confirmed in the revealed scriptures and by the spiritual master. It has nothing to do with his external designation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 11 September 2010

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

D Day


Today we depart on our next around-the-world lecture tour. It was a very nice break of almost two months here at our base camp, Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas. I was a wonderful opportunity to recharge our spiritual batteries. Today is most momentous as we embark on another transcendental expedition. It's always an exciting feeling to head out again on the road in the service of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who wonderfully gives the following instruction in his Srimad Bhagavatam purports:

"The life of a sincere devotee of the Lord is thus explained in a nutshell by Narada Muni by his personal example. Such a devotee, after his initiation by the Lord or His bona fide representative, takes very seriously chanting of the glories of the Lord and traveling all over the world so that others may also hear the glories of the Lord. Such devotees have no desire for material gain. They are conducted by one single desire: to go back to Godhead. This awaits them in due course on quitting the material body. Because they have the highest aim of life, going back to Godhead, they are never envious of anyone, nor are they proud of being eligible to go back to Godhead. Their only business is to chant and remember the holy name, fame and pastimes of the Lord and, according to personal capacity, to distribute the message for others' welfare without motive of material gain."
---from purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.26

So now I am praying for the all-auspicious blessings of Srila Prabhupada that I can purely present the sublime teachings of Lord Sri Krishna to whomever I meet in all times, places, and circumstances.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is Living Guru After Prabhupada?

Who is living GURU now after Prabhupada? is there any documentary proof?

atul sinha

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Answer: Those Disciples Who Strictly Follow Him

Whichever of Srila Prabhupada's disciples are strictly following his orders are living gurus because this is the instruction given by Srila Prabhupada.

There are so many proofs that Srila Prabhupada instructed his disciples to become spiritual masters. For example, Srila Prabhupada states in his Srimad Bhagavatam (SB 2.9.43) purport:

"One who is now the disciple is the next spiritual master. "

And also in an arrival lecture in Los Angeles on 18 May 1972 Srila Prabhupada directly told his disciples that they would the next in the succession of gurus after him:

"So we have got this message from Krishna, from Caitanya Mahaprabhu, from the six Goswamis, later on, Bhaktivinode Thakur, Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur. And we are trying our bit also to distribute this knowledge. Now, tenth, eleventh, twelfth... My Guru Maharaja is tenth from Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I am eleventh, you are the twelfth. So distribute this knowledge."

The disciple's obligation is to carry out the order he received from his spiritual master. He understands that he has no qualifications to take the exalted role of being a spiritual master. But he does so because his spiritual master has ordered him and because the perfection of the disciple's life is to faithfully follow the instructions that he has received from his spiritual master.

We could write an entire book to prove that Srila Prabhupada gave this order to his disciples. But the disciple is not obliged to prove to others that he was so ordered by his spiritual master. His only obligation is to carry out the instructions he received from his spiritual master:

"...just become perfect in the understanding of this science and become guru and deliver the whole world."

(from a lecture on the Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.39 -- Los Angeles, December 17, 1973

I hope this helps to make this matter crystal clear for you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 10 September 2010

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

When Adversity Strikes

Things don't always go right in this material world. Sometimes when everything seems to be going right all of sudden out of the blue we are struck by adversity. When this happens a Krishna conscious person does not cave in. He does not lose his equilibrium. Rather he remembers the sublime teachings of the Bhagavad-gita and accepts such reverse conditions as a golden opportunity to strengthen his Krishna consciousness, to increase his feelings of dependence on Krishna. In this way he is always able to remain equipoised even in the midst of the most devastating situations.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do We Teach the Opposite?

I read in Srila Prabhupada's books that Narayana is an expansion of Krishna. I can't agree with this because Narayana is eternal and Krishna is an incarnation of Narayana. I don't understand why our sampradaya teaches things the opposite way. Even there is an explanation in Sri Isopanishad that Krishna expands into three Vishnus: Karanodakasayi Vishnu, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, and Ksirodakasayi Vishnu.

But the truth is that Vishnu is Narayana. He expands into Krishna, Vamana, Varaha and so on. My friends always find this weird when I preach to them. Please forgive me if I'm giving you hard time by asking you silly questions.

Your humble servant
Lokesh

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Answer: We Simply Repeat What's In the Scriptures

We teach different from what many Hindus commonly understand to be the truth because we speak according to the revealed scriptures, not according to hearsay. One must understand God deeply, according to the version of the revealed scriptures, not superficially, then there will be no difficulties.

In this connection just consider this illustrative example: The other day Mr. Outsider criticized Mr. Insider because Mr. Outsider heard Mr. Insider say that Barack is the president of the United States. He became very disturbed at Mr. Insider and told him that he was wrong, that the president of the United States is Mr. Obama. The fact is that both of them are right because the president of the United States is Mr. Barack Obama.

Mr. Insider naturally calls him Barack because he is an intimate childhood friend of the president But since Mr. Outsider does not have such a personal relationship with the president, he only knows him in a more formal way as Mr. Obama.

Similarly, those who know the Lord only in a more formal way call him Vishnu or Narayana. And those who know Him intimately call Him Krishna or Govinda. Just as those who know the Lord intimately do not decry those who know the Lord only formally, those who know the Lord only formally should not decry those who know the Lord intimately.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 9 September 2010

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

Awaiting the Lord's Amazing Grace

We are readying ourselves now for our next around-the-world lecture tour, which will commence this coming Saturday morning. That we are starting this auspicious journey on 9/11 reminds us that this material world is full of danger at every step and that we must therefore always take complete shelter of the Lord's lotus feet as our only refuge. Our movement's mission is to inundate the entire world with Krishna consciousness so everyone in all corners of the world can be peaceful and happy. We know that even though from the material point of view such a spiritual revolution is impossible, from the transcendental viewpoint anything is possible. So let's try for it and await Krishna's amazing grace to see what unfolds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Krishna Puts Devotees in Trouble?

It just came through the news that there was explosion On 3rd September at the ISKCON Hare Krishna temple on Thoresby Street, in Leicester, England. The cause of the explosion has now been confirmed to be a gas leak in the kitchen area.

Why did Krishna let such a thing happen? This is really shaking my faith. How can Krishna put his devotees in such precarious condition when He says that he protects his devotees? Why does he put his devotees in such trouble in the first place?

Vishal

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Answer: We Put Ourselves in Trouble

It's not Krishna's fault that we are in such a dangerous situation here in this material world. It was our own foolishness to come here to begin with. It was we who decided to try to enjoy separately from the Lord instead of remaining as His servants in the spiritual world. So whatever difficulties we undergo here are simply our fault.

That Krishna has so kindly agreed to take us back to His eternal kingdom does not give us license to be negligent of the inherent dangers of this material world. No. We must always exercise due caution as long as we remain in this dangerous place.

This is a good lesson for us to be more cautious about LP (propane) gas. According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, there are about 2,500 propane fires and explosions annually in the US, killing about 20 people and injuring about 330 others.

We should take it as Krishna's special blessing that no one was killed or seriously injured.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 8 September 2010

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

Material and Spiritual Success

There's nothing wrong with material success provided one spiritualizes it by offering it in the service of the Lord. However, material success which is not offered in the Lord's service will keep one bound up in the repetition of birth and death and is thus an impediment for one's attainment of true, lasting peace and happiness. Therefore one should be very careful to follow in the footsteps of Arjuna, who demonstrated the perfect example of engaging his material success in the service of the Lord and thus became liberated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Guru and Spiritual Master?

In a recent "Answers According to the Vedic Version" you stated that the spiritual master is not Lord Krishna Himself. This is also my understanding. However, I have been told that actually there is only one guru and that is Krishna. All the bona fide spiritual masters in this world are like mediums through which Krishna is sending the Absolute Truth to bring us back home.

My first question is what is the difference between guru and the spiritual master? I have always assumed that they refer to the same thing. Also, is Krishna the only guru as I have been told or is there some subtle understanding about this that I am missing?

Kody

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Answer: The Terms are Synonymous

Yes, you are right. There is indeed only one guru or spiritual master, and that is Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So those who simply repeat His words, they also become guru or spiritual master. The terms guru and spiritual master are synonyms and are thus fully interchangeable. Spiritual master is the English translation of the Sanskrit word guru.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 7 September 2010

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

Happy in Spite of Living in Hell

Let's face it. There's no doubt about it. This material world is hell. We are being dragged by the laws of nature repeatedly through the cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease. In spite of all claims from the scientists that they are going to free us from these miseries, we see that the miseries are continuing for every man, woman, and child in every part of the world. The good news is that in spite of being stuck in this hell, the living being can be completely happy by realizing his true identity as the eternal servant of God and putting this realization into practice by engaging in the devotional service of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why is It Necessary to Maintain Silence?

I would like to know why is it absolutely necessary to maintain silence in spirituality? Even if people need help, the so-called spiritual guide does not reply to her or his question. I guess we are all human, one needs help from the other. But it's wrong when spiritually experienced people don't help others who need help unless they get paid. They don't open their mouth unless you push a check or dollars in their mouth. Is this right? Sorry but it's true. Paying money should not be a requirement for those who need spiritual guidance. I am coming from a different religion, and when I approach people with experience for help, their first reply is show your credit card to get my knowledge.

That's the fact, but the day I get enlightenment, I will reach out to people who will approach me without a question.

Rosy

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Answer: Real Silence is to Enlighten the Whole World

Real silence means to glorify Krishna and help others attain the supreme happiness 24 hours daily. The bona fide spiritual master does not charge any fee for his service of enlightening others. He instead blesses others with the supreme happiness out of the kindness of his heart. Those who charge money for spiritual knowledge cannot give genuine spiritual knowledge because they do not have it.

I wish you all success in your quest for enlightenment. If there is any way I can of service to you in this regard, kindly let me know.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Monday 6 September 2010

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

With the Greatest Delight

There is nothing more delightful, more enlivening than engaging in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead because such service connects one with his actual self. It is not a temporary ephemeral pleasure of the senses that fades away very quickly after being tasted. Rather it is permanent, lasting happiness, which goes on increasing more and more the longer that one engages in it. In short, there is no pleasure that equals or exceeds the pleasure of devotional service

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Ultimate Goal of the Living Being

What is the ultimate goal for the jivatma, the living being ?
Is it to be one with the Paramatma? Is it to lose his identity?

Ravi

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Answer: To Regain His Original Identity

Before understanding the ultimate goal of the living being we first must understand that the ultimate source of existence is a person. He has to be a person, otherwise so many persons cannot not be coming out from Him. The ultimate goal then of the jivatma, the individual living being, is to become fully reconnected with that original person, the Paramatma. Since we become connected with another person only through developing a loving relationship with that person, our ultimate goal is to revive our lost loving relationship with the Supreme Person, the source of all existence, the Paramatma who is known by the most advanced yogis as Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So spiritual perfection does not mean losing one's identity or merging with the Paramatma. It means instead to regain one's actual perpetual identity as Lord Sri Krishna's eternal servant

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 5 September 2010

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

Spiritual Master of the Universe

Spiritual master of the universe in Sanskrit is jagad-guru. This term describes that spiritual master who is a pure devotee of the Lord. He is called spiritual master of the universe because he possesses the full empowerment of Lord Sri Krishna to deliver all of the conditioned souls in the universe from their entanglement in the cycle of birth and death. I was most fortunate to be accepted as the disciple of such a jagad-guru, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

So how does this description relate to struggling neophytes like us who are battling it out every day with the material energy trying to curb down our material desires? What this means that according to our degree of surrender to the Lord He empowers us proportionately for uplifting the consciousness of the inhabitants of this universe. Therefore out of compassion on the suffering souls of this world we should try to become as Krishna conscious as much as possible so that we can render to them the best possible humanitarian service by helping them to come the transcendental plane.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: The Seven-Fold Coverings of the Universe

Millions of humble obeisances to the Lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva, who is Krishna Himself taking so much pain to guide the humble souls like me.

You have mentioned the seven-fold coverings of the universe on Saturday 4th of September 2010 in Thought for the Day. Kindly give some details on this seven fold covering.

Anupam

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Answer: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, etc.

Kindly note that the spiritual master is not Krishna Himself. Rather he is the humble servant of Krishna. Although he is considered to be as good as Krishna because Krishna acts through him to deliver the fallen souls back to Godhead, He must never be considered to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.

The seven-fold universal coverings are listed as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam in this prayer from Maharaja Citraketu to the Supreme Lord:

kṣity-ādibhir eṣa kilāvṛtaḥ
saptabhir daśa-guṇottarair aṇḍa-kośaḥ
yatra pataty aṇu-kalpaḥ
sahāṇḍa-koṭi-koṭibhis tad anantaḥ


"Every universe is covered by seven layers--earth, water, fire, air, sky, the total material energy and false ego--each ten times greater than the previous one. There are innumerable universes besides this one, and although they are unlimitedly large, they move about like atoms in You. Therefore You are called unlimited [ananta]."
--SB 6.16.37

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 4 September 2010

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

Deepest Knowledge in the Universe

Recently somebody dropped out of our course complaining that it did not have enough depth. They must have been sitting on the shore without diving in because the science that we are presenting is unlimitedly deep. Even one word of this science has the power to carry the sincere student across the inconceivably large span of our universe and across its even larger seven-fold coverings to the transcendental abode of the Supreme Person, who possesses perfect knowledge of everything past, present, and future. So anyone who does not think that this knowledge is deep should just try applying it. If they do so, they will experience first hand that it is the deepest knowledge in the universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Final Conclusion of the Vedic Science

First of all I am very, very thankful to your for all your replies. My question is regarding the two classes of philosophers. One class believes that the highest truth is a kind of impersonal, formless oneness or light that is devoid of all qualities (nirguna) while the other class understands the highest truth as a person with transcendental form possessing unlimited (saguna) qualities. After listening to the personalists I tend to agree with them, but then the arguments of the impersonalists often create confusion in my mind. What is the proper understanding according the final conclusion of the Vedic science (Vedanta)?

Your servant,
Karanjeet

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Answer: Nothing Merges Into Oneness

The impersonalists, who worship God as the impersonal oneness, which is known also as the brahmajyoti or the divine light, are incomplete in their understanding. The light they are attracted to is nothing but the effulgent rays emanating from the transcendental body of Sri Krishna. Worshipping that light without realizing who is the person from whom that light is emanating will always be frustrating and incomplete. This is so because love is the basis of satisfaction for the living being and we cannot have a loving relationship with light. We can only have a loving relationship with a person. Therefore the devotees of the Lord, those who realize the person who is the source of the light, find superior permanent happiness by reviving their original loving relationship with the Supreme Person. And the impersonalists remain ever frustrated in their attempts to permanently merge themselves in the brahmajyoti. They must be frustrated in this regard because Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita that He exists eternally and that all of the living beings exist eternally. In other words, there is no point in time or beyond time in which everything is merged into the brahmajyoti, the impersonal oneness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 3 September 2010

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

Mastering the Art of Loving Service

This material world is an abode of anxieties. Here we experience one anxiety after another anxiety after another anxiety. Sometimes when the anxieties are not quite as bad we imagine that we are happy. But this is not real happiness. This is only a slight reduction of anxiety. Real happiness exists only on that platform which is completely free from all anxieties. That platform is the spiritual platform where we become reconnected with that most amazing Supreme Personality of God through loving service to Him. From the scriptures, the spiritual master, and the devotees we learn how to master the art of loving service to Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Balancing Material and Spiritual Life

Dear Guru Maharaja,

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

How to balance the material world with the spiritual world in this most materialistic age of Kali?

Your servant,
S. Sukumar

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Answer: Material Life Only As Much As Necessary

Accept material life only as much as is necessary to keep body and soul together. Since body and soul will remain together only temporarily, spend the balance of your energy on your spiritual life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 2 September 2010

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

Srila Prabhupada's Vyas Puja

Song to Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada, you saved me
From hopelessness and disgrace.
Blessed me with divine vision
Of what lies beyond this place.
So adeptly you uprooted my confusion
By distinguishing reality from illusion.
So now there's nothing for this feeble soul to do
But to give my eternal existence to you.

Srila Prabhupada you blessed me
With ecstasy unsurpassed.
Released me from the hell of birth and death
And quagmire karma I amassed.
You astound me amazingly to this very day
By your words of unprecedented sway.
So now there's nothing else for this ragged soul to do
But to offer my eternal existence unto you.

Srila Prabhupada, I beg for the mercy
That I can please you unlimitedly.
For I've got to try to repay the debt
For the unlimited bliss you're giving me.
In spite of my hopeless disqualifications
I beg to serve in your movement's global inundation.
Yes, the history books will all solidly declare
That Prabhupada saved the world from devastating despair.
So now there's nothing else for this wayward soul to do
But to devote my eternal existence to you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is the Best Way to Please God?

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

Dear Sir,

1. It has been predicted that the human population will be reduced to a very small number by the beginning of the next century. Will the reason be that the people will become so materially contaminated that they will decline to the animal kingdom or because the Krishna Consciousness movement will become so prominent, that everyone will be transferred to the spiritual world?

2. Does God feel sad when we ignore Him ?

3. What should I do to get inspired to perform my duties only for Krishna?

4. What is the best thing I can do to please God ?

These are some of my doubts. I kindly and humbly request you to clear them.

Your humble student,

Naresh


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Answer: Fully Surrender Unto Him

This doesn't sound like a bona fide prediction, but it sure would be nice if our movement became so prominent that practically everyone went back to the spiritual world!

Krishna is definitely unhappy that we are presently suffering in the cycle of birth and death. This is why He is making all arrangements to convince us to come to His eternal abode in the spiritual sky.

We should do everything for Krishna only because this is His order given to us in the Bhagavad-gita.

The best thing that you can do to please God is to fully surrender unto Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 1 September 2010

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

Krishna Janmastami

Today is the most auspicious day of Sri Krishna Janmastami. On this day around 5,000 years ago the atmosphere in this universe was most pleasing and wonderful in preparation for the Lord's arrival. In his book, Krishna-The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Srila Prabhupada very nicely explains how auspicious the atmosphere was at that time:

"He appears out of His own sweet pleasure. When the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord, the constellations became very auspicious. The astrological influence of the star known as Rohini was predominant. This star is considered to be very auspicious and is under the direct supervision of Brahma. According to the astrological conclusion, besides the proper situation of the stars, there are auspicious and inauspicious moments due to the different situations of the different planetary systems. At the time of Krishna's birth, the planetary systems were automatically adjusted so that everything became auspicious.

"At that time, in all directions -- east, west, south, north, everywhere -- there was an atmosphere of peace and prosperity. There were auspicious stars visible in the sky, and on the surface in all towns and villages and pasturing grounds and within the minds of everyone there were signs of good fortune. The rivers were flowing full of waters, and lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The forests were full with beautiful birds and peacocks. All the birds within the forests began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance along with their consorts. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, and the sensation of bodily touch was very pleasing. At home, the brahmanas, who were accustomed to offering sacrifices in the fire, found their homes very pleasant for offerings. Due to disturbances created by the demoniac kings, the sacrificial fire had been almost stopped in the houses of brahmanas, but now they could find the opportunity to start the fire peacefully. Being forbidden to offer sacrifices, the brahmanas had been very much distressed in mind, intelligence and activities, but just on the point of Krishna's appearance, automatically their minds became full of joy because they could hear transcendental vibrations in the sky proclaiming the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

"The denizens of the Gandharva and Kinnara planets began to sing, and the denizens of Siddhaloka and the planets of the Caranas began to offer prayers in the service of the Personality of Godhead. In the heavenly planets, the angels and their wives, along with the Vidyadharas and their wives, began to dance.

"The great sages and the demigods, being pleased, began to shower flowers. At the seashore there was the sound of mild waves, and above the sea there were clouds in the sky which began to thunder very pleasingly.

"When things were adjusted like this, Lord Vishnu, who is residing within the heart of every living entity, appeared in the darkness of night as the Supreme Personality of Godhead before Devaki, who appeared as one of the demigoddesses. The appearance of Lord Vishnu at that time could be compared to the rising of the full moon over the eastern horizon. The objection may be raised that since Lord Krishna appeared on the eighth day of the waning moon, there could be no rising of the full moon. In answer to this it may be said that Lord Krishna appeared in the dynasty which is in the hierarchy of the moon; therefore, although the moon was incomplete on that night, because of the Lord's appearance in the dynasty wherein the moon is himself the original person, the moon was in an overjoyous condition, so by the grace of Krishna he could appear just like a full moon.

"In an astronomical treatise by the name Khamanikya, the constellations at the time of the appearance of Lord Krishna are very nicely described. It is confirmed that the child born at that auspicious moment was the Supreme Brahman, or the Absolute Truth."



Baby Krishna's Birthday Bathing Ceremony


By reading the above wonderful words describing the Lord's appearance our hearts become purified. On this most auspicious Janmastami we beg Lord Sri Krishna to become fully manifested within our hearts to drive away all of our material desires and situate us completely in his service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Do I Know Who is a Bona Fide Guru?

I know that this question must have crossed thousands of minds. I has surely crossed my mind thousands of times, but still I have not been able to solve it on my own. How do I know that a person is a bona fide guru?

I do not mean to seek this answer from the material credentials perspective because almost every single guru I've met has been able to show me some form of higher authority. Some reside in opulent settings and have big ashrams and millions of followers. Some speak mesmerizing words. Some write extremely well. In short, almost every person I've met who could potentially be my guru has some achievement that can be materially measured. I want to be able to identify the guru not by material calculations, but at the same time I need to have some way to verify his authenticity. Am I being practical here?

What is the worst that can happen if I choose a wrong guru? Can I change gurus? Can I have more than one guru for different aspects of refinement of spiritual life?

Yours humbly,

Chetan

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Answer: He Must Be a Pure Devotee of Krishna

The bona fide spiritual master is a pure devotee of Krishna. Pure devotee means that he is 100% absorbed in Krishna consciousness. Therefore to judge who is a bona fide spiritual master you have to study his qualities, characteristics, teachings, and activities and judge them based on the descriptions of the spiritual master given in the scriptures. In this way you may study the guru to see if he always Krishna conscious in all times, places, and circumstances.

If you choose as your guru someone who is not Krishna conscious, you will unfortunately share the same hellish destiny as the so-called guru. Therefore you would be wise to be very careful in the matter of selecting who will be your guru. It's not that you should choose someone as guru as a matter of fashion because he is big name famous guru. A guru is not a pet dog that you accept because he looks good. No. Guru is that pure devotee of Krishna who can deliver you back to home, back to Godhead.

If by mistake you have accepted someone who is not bona fide as your spiritual master, you should immediately reject him and then take complete shelter of a bona fide spiritual master.

You should accept only one person as your spiritual master. Otherwise it will be, "Too many cooks spoil the broth." You will get confused when one guru tells one thing and another guru tells you something different. What will happen is that by having many gurus you will not have a guru.

Your guru will initiate you and thus bring you into your eternal transcendental existence. Therefore is known as your initiating guru. Then after accepting him, you may also accept guidance from others who help you to surrender to your initiating guru. These devotees who assist your initiating guru in delivering you are known as instructing gurus.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




















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