martes, 30 de agosto de 2011

Today's Thought: Month March 2011


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His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Contenidos - Contents
Today's Thought - Sankarsana Das Adhikari
Today's Thought - MONTH of MARCH 2011

Thursday 31 March 2011

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama

Today's Thought: Defeating the Greatest Enemy

Our greatest enemy is selfishness, our foolish tendency to serve only our own needs while neglecting the needs of others. Selfishness is mere foolishness because no man is an island. By our very nature we are meant to serve others. In fact, the more we make others happy, the more we become happy and satisfied. This is the law of nature. Therefore the very best service we can render is to give all others the ultimate happiness of delivering them from the cycle of birth and death. This is accomplished by reviving their original, dormant Krishna consciousness. Consequently, a life dedicated to inundating the entire world with Krishna consciousness is the most powerful and effective way for one to defeat selfishness, his greatest enemy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Retain What I Read?

I can't remember what I read in the Bhagavad-gita clearly. Is there a reason for this? How can I sharpen my memory so that I can explain Krishna to others without giving them the wrong information? I'm too afraid to say anything when they bring God up.


Answer: Follow this Technique

In this Kali yuga, age of quarrel and hypocrisy we all have shortness of memory. Therefore if you want to memorize what you have read in the Bhagavad-gita, you will have to work very hard. To begin your Bhagavad-gita memorization program you should solidly learn this verse, which is the key verse of the Bhagavad-gita, both in Sanskrit and English:

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. 
I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear."
Bhagavad-gita 18.66

Read this verse aloud many times. Then without looking try to repeat it. Check to see how well you did. Then read it aloud again many times. Again try to say it without looking. Repeat this pattern again and again until you can say the entire verse correctly without looking. Do this both for the English and the Sanskrit. And then every day in the early morning test yourself on the verse. Try to say it without looking and see if you got it right. Every morning you must recite it in both Sanskrit and English without looking. You should only look at it to double check that you are getting it right. You should also memorize the chapter number and verse number. In this way if you will drill this verse until you memorize it and continue drilling to retain it, this verse will become as familiar to you as your own name, and you will be able to call upon it at will in all times and places to strengthen your own Krishna consciousness and to authoritatively enlighten others in the science of bhakti. Once this verse is very solid, you should add more and more verses to your repertoire in the same manner as you learned this one.

The principle here is throwing the mud against the wall again and again and again until finally some of it sticks. In other words, if you drill your brain enough it will become trained to be able nicely retain the scriptures. The more you learn verses, the easier it will get. You should have a lifetime goal of mastering at least 108 verses.

So now get to work and enter into an exciting new chapter of your life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 30 March 2011

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama

Today's Thought: Total Awakening

There is no reason for you to remain captured in maya, or the dreamlike illusory energy of material existence sometimes imagining that you are a king and sometimes imagining that you are a pauper, because the supreme source of all existence, the most stupendously astonishing person that you could ever hope to meet is ready to liberate you right now. All you have to do to bring about the total awakening of your original, all-knowing, all-blissful identify is call out to Krishna for deliverance in the mood of a small child crying for its mother. The great acharyas recommend this mantra as the most powerful and effective mantra for invoking the mercy of the Lord in this age:

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

Utter these names regularly with all the feeling you can muster, and the dark night of ignorance and suffering will be dissipated by the rising sun of Krishna as you become more and more absorbed in His loving service. You'll have a great life. And it will never end.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Form or Formlessness in Goloka?

I have question that came up during a discussion with a colleague. We were discussing the fact that the body is temporary, but the soul is eternal. My colleague asked me if the soul is formless, and I said, "Yes, it is, because the body it is associated with is temporary." He asked if formlessness is a quality of the soul, and by extension, if the Supreme Soul should also not possess the same property of formlessness? I explained that in our system we worship Krishna who has form and yet is above form at the same time. However, I was unable to provide a more clear answer.

Arising out of this, given that the Lord has form, and is above form or formlessness, what about liberated souls who have attained Goloka and the Lord's lotus feet? Do they possess indestructible, blemishless forms as well in that exalted state? Or are they without form?

With humble dandavats,

Answer: Krishna is the Supreme Form

The soul is not formless. In fact the body has form because it is a covering for the soul, which has form. Just as a glove has form because it covers the hand, which has form, the body also has form because it covers the soul, which has form. You need to study our books more thoroughly before you start preaching.

It not correct to say that Krishna is above form. This makes it sound like formlessness is above form. Krishna is the Supreme Person and the Supreme Form because Krishna and His form are one and the same. There is no difference between the person Krishna and His form. In this connection Srila Prabhupada states in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.15.35, "His body is nondifferent from Him, and therefore He is known as the embodiment of eternity, knowledge and bliss."

Every living being throughout all of existence has his svarupa, his eternal spiritual form. In material consciousness, he forgets his eternal form and foolishly misidentifies with so many imperfect material forms one after another in the cycle of birth and death. But once he revives his Krishna consciousness he reactivates his eternal spiritual form and regains his original position in the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in that most wondrous spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 29 March 2011

from London, England 

Today's Thought: Back to Home, Back to Vrindavan

Monday 28 March 2011--After a blissful stop in London to lecture on the Bhagavad-gita and to hold a Krishna conscious questions and answers session at ISKCON's Soho Street temple in London, we are heading out today for the Lord's most wonderful transcendental abode, Sri Vrindavana Dhama. A pilgrimage to this most sacred abode is an incredibly sublime opportunity for strengthening our Krishna consciousness and for regaining our original eternal identities as Krishna's eternal servants.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Vrindavan, the Wondrous Land of Krishna

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: How to Find Permanent Bliss?

Hare Krishna, Maharaja,

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

Day in and day out, I am trying very hard to become an ardent student of Krishna consciousness, but I always end up overwhelmed by miseries stemming from my work, people, corporate politics, mood swings, and other emotional disturbances.

I am feeling very sick and tired of these day to day nuances. In my office everyone is playing so much politics and mind games, and they don't understand the pain I am going through. I have to work to take care of my social and financial needs, and I do not have good support either financially or morally. How to survive in this dog-eat-dog world? Every day it's a great struggle to survive and face the odds. Sometime I am getting suicidal thoughts. But I also think of my aged parents. I am 35 years old and not yet married and am finding great difficulty to get married because of poor financial position and poor health. 

How can I be happy and blissful if I keep on facing these emotional disturbances daily which wreck my interest in spirituality? How can I get rid of these disturbances and achieve permanent bliss.

Hare Krishna,

Your servant forever,

Answer: Beg for Krishna's Mercy

It's very simple. All you have to do is see that this suffering is all the mercy of Krishna to help you give up the idea of trying to enjoy this material world so that you can easily take complete shelter of Him. Call out to Krishna regularly like a small child in anxiety calling out to his mother. Take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master. He will teach you how to perfect your chanting. In this way, you will be able to cut through the curtain of the material energy and enter into the spiritual world of unlimited bliss. 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 28 March 2011

from London, England 

Today's Thought: Don't Play Around in Misery

Flying from Dallas to London on 26 March 2011 on the airplane we were offered many choices of films to watch. But because none of them were beneficial for my Krishna consciousness I did not want to watch any of them. This reminded me of the time back in 1969 when I was a young counter-cultural songwriter in Berkeley, California seeking spiritual enlightenment and spiritual revolution on this planet. Hare Krishna devotee Mukhanlal das brahmacari took me with him to spend the night at ISKCON's center in San Francisco at 518 Frederick Street. The next morning for the first time in my life I chanted one round of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads. Heading back to Berkeley later that morning I was feeling quite exhilarated. That evening in Berkeley I was visiting some people who were sitting around wasting their time watching some nonsense on television. Instead of wasting my time with them I went out on their front porch and wrote a song. The main line of the song was, "Do you think I'd waste my time playing around in misery when I am so close to Nirvana?" My uplifting spiritual experience at the Hare Krishna temple gave me the prema premonition that soon I would attain the spiritual enlightenment I had been seeking, and the last time in the world I wanted to do was to waste my time absorbing my consciousness in some ridiculous mundane television show. What I had realized that day in 1969 is just as true today as it was then. I still don't want to waste my time with nonsense. The only difference is that now by the grace of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I have been most auspiciously blessed with the transcendental knowledge that I formally was so desperately seeking. 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: What Does Paraphernalia Mean?

Please accept my respectful obeisances.

While reading about Krishna consciousness I have often read the word, "paraphernalia." Please describe about the word in regards to Krishna Consciousness.


Answer: Krishna's Personal Possessions

When we speak of Lord Krishna's paraphernalia we are speaking of such things as His flute, His peacock feather, His ornaments, and His clothing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 27 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Initiation Is Not Sufficient for Liberation

To be initiated by any guru is not sufficient for going back to Godhead. The guru who can deliver you back to home, back to the spiritual world must himself be engaged 24 hours daily in Krishna's service and engage you also in doing that. Initiation means beginning. It does not mean that you are now delivered. It can be compared to registering as a student in a university. Registration does not mean that you are now graduated. It simply means that you are now formally beginning your studies. Would you want to enroll in a university that registers you but does not teach you anything? Being associated with such a university would be a useless waste of time. Similarly the association of any guru who does not teach you practically how to be engaged 24 hours daily in Krishna's service is a useless waste of time. Such a so-called guru should be scrupulously avoided. Find that guru who can engage you 24 hours daily in Krishna's service and take complete shelter of him as your eternal spiritual master. 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Do You Destroy American Culture?

Do you destroy the American way of life.


Answer: We Are Re-Americanizing It.

Krishna consciousness is not the destruction of the American way of life. Rather it is its perfection. The United States of America was founded by people who were being persecuted for their religious practices in England and who wanted a place where they could worship and serve God without being restricted. If you study the early literature of the USA, you will see that it is 100% devotional literature. So the real meaning of the American way of life is God consciousness. This is why we still see printed on the American dollar the words, "In God We Trust." Sadly due to the influence of the age of Kali, America is gradually moving further and further away from her God conscious roots. In other words, she is becoming more and more un-American. The Krishna consciousness movement is endeavoring to re-Americanize the USA, to bring her back again to her original wonderful God consciousness. If the leaders of the USA can seriously accept the guidance of the Krishna consciousness movement, this country can bring in a new unparalleled age of peace and prosperity for the benefit of the entire human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 26 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: On the Road Again for Krishna

After a spiritually invigorating two months hiatus at our home base in Austin, Texas, we are back on the road again today to resume our travelling and preaching. Our first stop is in London where I will be giving the Sunday feast lecture at ISKCON's Hare Krishna temple on Soho street in downtown London. From there we will proceed to India to Sri Vrindavan dhama to purify our hearts in the Lord's transcendental abode and to New Delhi for a series of lectures at the ISKCON temples there. Then it will be back to eastern Europe for many ecstatic weeks of distributing the nectar of Krishna's mercy to many eager recipients there. 

If you would like to see the complete details of my lecture schedule for 2011 go to:

Why do we do this at such great inconvenience? Srila Prabhupada describes that a sincere 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. Although I consider myself to be lacking in sincerity and also lacking in so many other good qualities, still I am trying my best to please my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, by propagating the Krishna consciousness movement as far as possible all over the world. On this auspicious day of resuming our traveling and preaching, I am humbly falling at the feet of my most beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, begging for his mercy that my feeble efforts to please him by spreading this movement may be crowned with glorious success.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Religion and Spiritualism

I have been reading regularly "Thought for the Day" and firmly believe in God, Krishna. In a friendly debate my friend argued with me that spiritualism has nothing to do with religion. Only religion is God and following religion is God. My plea was that spiritual wakefulness or development leads to the attainment of God. Your advise on this subject will enhance my knowledge.

Your devotee,


Answer: The Means and the End

Since, according to the dictionary, spiritualism is the quality or state of being spiritual, and since according to it's Latin word origin religion is the process of re-linking with or reviving one's intrinsic spiritual nature, religion is the practical technique for attaining the state of spiritualism. In short, religion is the means, and spiritualism is the end.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 25 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Krishna Is Just As Real As You Are

Just as you are real and this world is real, the source of all existence is also real. And just as a gold mine must possess gold in order to produce gold, the existence mine from which everything is coming must have personality in order to produce so many personalities. That person who produces everything is supremely powerful because all of the characteristics that are found within existence must also necessarily be present in Him. It is not possible that you can possess something which the Supreme Person does not possess. Therefore just as you have names, that Supreme Person also has names. Just as someone who knows you can tell me your name, someone who knows God can also tell me what is His name. In this connection we have gotten information from Lord Brahma that God's name is Krishna or Govinda.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Why is Krishna Really Blue?

I found a article from last week which gave an impersonalistic interpretation as to why Krishna is blue.

Here is the article: "In Hinduism, Gods like Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna, Lord Ram and Lord Shiva are shown as having blue or dusky skin. The color of the skin is shown as either blue or sometimes black. Hindu religion is full of symbolisms and the blue color is also a symbol. Most avatars of Hindu gods are also shown in blue color.

Blue is the color of the infinite. All Hindu gods are an attempt by the human mind to give form to the formless Brahman (God). The color blues symbolizes immeasurable and all pervading reality – formless Brahman.

Swami Chinmayananda talking on the subject says that whatever is immeasurable can appear to the mortal eye only as blue; thus the cloudless summer sky is blue to us because the endless distance of space is interpreted by the physical eye as blue in color. 

The blue color thus teaches us that what appears as Lord Vishnu, Krishna and Shiva is the all pervading reality. Brahman (the Supreme Reality) takes a particular form to satisfy the human mind."

So why is Krishna blue? I would like to submit the correct, bona fide answer to the site where I found article so that people can receive true, authentic spiritual knowledge.

Thank you very much.


Answer: To Wonderfully Attract Everyone

The article you have read is not in accordance with the Vedic conclusion because it states that God is formless and that it is only the human mind which attempts to give form to the formless God. This is totally incorrect. It is clearly stated in the sruti-mantras, the Sri Isopanisad, that God has a form:

pūṣann ekarṣe yama sūrya prājāpatya
vyūha raśmīn samūha
tejo yat te rūpaṁ kalyāṇa-tamaṁ
tat te paśyāmi yo 'sāv asau puruṣaḥ so 'ham asmi

"O my Lord, O primeval philosopher, maintainer of the universe, 
O regulating principle, destination of the pure devotees, 
well-wisher of the progenitors of mankind, please remove the effulgence 
of Your transcendental rays so that I can see Your form of bliss. 
You are the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, like unto the sun, as am I."

--Sri Isopanisad Mantra 16
Krishna or God is real person. All of the Vedic wisdom comes to the point of Krishna. He is vividly described as a real person, with a real body, with real activities. Because He is the Supreme Controller He can manifest any color according to His own choosing. The blue-black color He sports is not a symbol of formlessness. To manifest that amazingly splendorous blue-black form, which attracts everyone, is another one of His wonderful pleasure pastimes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 24 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: How the Weak Becomes Super Powerful

The Vaisnava never considers himself to be a powerful controller. He always humbly, meekly feels himself to be very weak and insignificant. Therefore he always fully relies on the Lord's mercy in all times, places, and circumstances and always calls out to the Lord for protection knowing fully well that the Lord is his only shelter. In this way the Vaisnava although feeling himself to be very weak becomes so powerful that, by the grace of the Lord, he can transform human history by revolutionizing the entire universe with Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: How Can I Make You Happy?

You are so kind to me. That is way I always feel to thank you for your kindness to me. Can you please tell me how do you want me to make you happy? I want to make you feel, "Yes. This my disciple."

Your servant,

Answer: Absorb Yourself Fully in Krishna Bhakti

There is nothing that pleases the spiritual master more than seeing that his disciples are developing their love for Krishna. So if you want to be my real disciple, fully absorb yourself in loving service to Lord Sri Krishna 24 hours daily with all of your thoughts, words, and deeds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 23 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Are You Ready for Death?

Time and tide wait for no man. At any moment we can be ripped out of our bodies by the exacting law of death. So instead of foolishly dreaming that we will never die, we should intelligently face up to the inevitable reality and prepare ourselves for our eternal existence, full of knowledge and full of bliss, by immediately taking complete shelter of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Do I Have to Chant "Krishna"?

Dear Sir, 

Hare Krishna! 

Can you tell me please why the name of the Lord is now Krishna. For many years I have been chanting a different name. Do I have to change now?


Answer: Any Name of God Can Be Chanted

Since God is unlimited, there have always been unlimited names for God. Therefore one can chant any one of the unlimited names for God and achieve the supreme perfection of going back to home back to Godhead. The name "Krishna" is one of the names and is the most important because it contains all of the other names of God within it. It is not some new invention. God has always especially loved His name, "Krishna." Chanting Hare Krishna is especially recommended for those who want to quickly become very dear to the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 22 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Why I am a Theist

Religion is grossly misunderstood both by its adherents and its detractors. The word "religion" comes from the Latin word "religio", which means to re-link or to reconnect. So the real meaning of religion is to re-link or to bring ourselves back into harmony with the complete whole, the source of our existence. 

Atheism means to deny that we have a source or an origin. But you can't show me anything that comes out of nothing. Everything comes out of something. Therefore we must come out of something. There is a complete whole of which we are a part. The part of a thing is always meant to harmonize with the whole thing of which it is a part. That is its natural healthy state. Therefore in my natural, healthy state I must be in harmony with the complete whole, the origin of my existence. Therefore, I am a theist, a person who wants to be in harmony with the source of his existence. To not want to be religious or in harmony with the very ground of your being is sheer madness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: What Does "Bona Fide" Mean?

I read your "Thought for the Day" everyday. It has helped me a lot. I see that you are regularly using the word "bona fide." What does it mean? 

Your servant,

Answer: He's Not a Quack or a Charlatan

Bona fide means genuine, not counterfeit, without fraud or deceit. We regularly use this term in reference to the spiritual master to teach people how to distinguish between the genuine, authorized guru and the bogus gurus who have become so prevalent and all-pervading these days. Bona fide guru means that he is not a cheater. Krishna or God is the original guru, and anyone who purely represents Him is a bona fide guru. Those who present the highest truth as something other than Krishna, such as the unborn, unmanifested that is within everything are not bona fide spiritual masters. They are cheaters and bluffers of the worst description who teach their disciples that everyone is God. The bona fide spiritual master is not such a quack or a charlatan. He is the pure representative of Lord Sri Krishna because he never presents his own ideas. He simply purely presents the teachings of Krishna exactly as he has heard them from his spiritual master. This is why he is bona fide.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 21 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Become A Moon and Illuminate the Universe

Krishna Das Kaviraja describes that the devotees of Lord Caitanya illuminate the entire universe:

jaya śrī-caitanyacandrera bhakta candra-gaṇa
sabāra prema jyotsnāya ujjvala tri-bhuvana

"All glories to the moons who are devotees of the principal moon, Lord Caitanyacandra! 
Their bright moonshine illuminates the entire universe."
--Caitanya-Caritamrita (Adi 13.5)

For this wonderful verse Srila Prabhupada gives a purport as follows:

In this verse we find the moon described as candra-gaṇa, which is plural in number. This indicates that there are many moons. In the Bhagavad-gita the Lord says, nakṣatrāṇām ahaṁ śaśī: "Among the stars, I am the moon." (Bg. 10.21) All the stars are like the moon. Western astronomers consider the stars to be suns, but Vedic astronomers, following the Vedic scriptures, consider them moons. The sun has the ability to shine powerfully, and the moons reflect the sunshine and therefore look brilliant. InCaitanya-caritamrịta Krishna is described to be like the sun. The supreme powerful is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, or Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and His devotees are also bright and illuminating because they reflect the supreme sun. The Caitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.31) states:

kṛṣṇa—sūrya-sama; māyā haya andhakāra
yāhāṅ kṛṣṇa, tāhāṅ nāhi māyāra adhikāra

"Krishna is bright like the sun. As soon as the sun appears, 
there is no question of darkness or nescience."

Similarly, this verse also describes that by the illumination of all the moons, brightened by the reflection of the Krishna sun, or by the grace of all the devotees of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the entire world will be illuminated, despite the darkness of Kali-yuga. Only the devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu can dissipate the darkness of Kali-yuga, the ignorance of the population of this age. No one else can do so. We therefore wish that all the devotees of the Krishna consciousness movement may reflect the supreme sun and thus dissipate the darkness of the entire world. (end of purport)

Just see what a wonderful order Srila Prabhupada has given to the members of the Krishna consciousness movement! He has expressed his desire that they should be moons and reflect the Krishna sun for the illumination of the entire world! Just as the reflecting power of a mirror depends on how clean it is, the members of the Krishna consciousness movement will be potent moons for dissipating the darkness of the Kali Yuga according to the degree of their purity. Therefore we must always strive for the utmost purity in our Krishna consciousness for the sake of the fallen, conditioned souls of this age.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: How to Awaken from the Nightmare?

As always I found your lesson today very good and insightful. I am realizing that I am in a dream, and that my dream is within another. How do we awaken ourselves from all of them?

I feel as if my Krishna consciousness is awakening, yet I am not yet moving from this dream-nightmare. Why do I have to wait for the dream to be over? Why can't I end it right now? I am awakening Krishna consciousness. Why can't I be with Him 100% right now?


Answer: Understand and Be Who You Are

To end the dream, you simply have to understand and accept that you are the eternal servant of Krishna and fully surrender yourself to Him through the transparent via medium of His pure representative, the bona fide spiritual master. Then you will be 100% with Krishna right now.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 20 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: When You're Totally Paralyzed by Maya

What to do when you are so completely and totally paralyzed and overwhelmed by maya that you cannot even begin to engage in any of nine different types of devotional service? The first thing you need to do is to remember is that there is no power anywhere in the universe that can defeat the power of Krishna consciousness. In other words, in the presence of Krishnamaya's power dwindles away into insignificance. So all you really have to do to get out of maya is invoke Lord Krishna's presence by saying His name or by doing something, even a very small thing, in his service. By doing even one small devotional activity you will get strength to do something else. And then by doing that something else you will be blessed with even more strength to do something else. In this way if you keep the momentum going, you will very soon become a highly empowered devotee who can spread Krishna consciousness all over the universe. 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

When You Are Paralyzed with Bewilderment,

Reach Out for Krishna. He Will Save You.

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Pleasure from Vedic Scriptures?

What is the difference between the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad-Bhagavatam? And, is it true that listening to Vedic scriptures gives a lot of transcendental pleasure?


Answer: Unlimited Reservoir of Pleasure

The Bhagavad-gita is the words of Krishna and the Srimad-Bhagavatam is the words about Krishna. Both are reservoirs of unlimited pleasure as are all Vedic scriptures. One simply has to dive in.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 19 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Appearance Day of Lord Caitanya

What day can be more auspicious than the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? He is Krishna Himself appearing in His most merciful manifestation to bestow freely upon all without any restriction pure love of Godhead. It is up to us to now take full advantage of His unlimited mercy and easily qualify ourselves to go back to home, back to Godhead at the end of this lifetime. The wonderful mercy of Lord Caitanya and His associates is described as follows in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi Lila, Chapter Seven, Verse 163:

ei pañca-tattva-rūpe śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya
kṛṣṇa-nāma-prema diyā viśva kailā dhanya

"Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates of the Pañca-tattva distributed the holy name of the Lord to invoke love of Godhead throughout the universe, and thus the entire universe was thankful."

In his purport to this verse Srila Prabhupada writes:

"Here it is said that Lord Caitanya made the entire universe thankful to Him for propagating the sankirtana movement with His associates. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has already sanctified the entire universe by His presence five hundred years ago, and therefore anyone who attempts to serve Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sincerely by following in His footsteps and following the instructions of the acaryas will successfully be able to preach the holy names of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra all over the universe." 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Golden Avatar

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: An Indecisive Kid in a Candy Shop

I am feeling like a child who's daddy just gave me a nickel so that I could buy a piece of candy. I am standing in front of the candy now and there are hundreds of different kinds, and I can't decide which one to buy.

There's the God candy, Krishna, Rama, Jesus, Buddha, Oneness and Shiva candy, which is the one that I should pick? 

Which is the real piece of candy and not just the fancy wrapping?

It's the dreams again. I've been in the Catholic dream, born again Christian dream, Tao, Eck, SGI, and now Hindu dream among others? How do I awaken from the illusions and find the truth?


Answer: Take the Medicine and Enjoy the Candy

Your question is very nice.

A similar example is that of someone entering a pharmacy and finding hundreds of different medicines. How will he know which is the proper medicine to take? It is not difficult. He simply has to accept the medicine which his physician has prescribed and take it exactly according to his physician's instructions. Then there will be no difficulty. He will be cured.

The physician is the bona fide spiritual master and the bona fide spiritual master is that teacher who understands perfectly how to engage his disciple in following the Vedic wisdom so that he will quickly be delivered from the dangerous ocean of birth, death, old age, and disease.

At the present moment we cannot taste the candy of pure love of Godhead, because we are in a diseased condition. But after being cured under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, we will be able to relish the sweetest candy of pure love of God at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 18 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: We Do Not Exist Alone

It's all too easy to be caught up in selfishness, thinking only about our own happiness and neglecting the happiness of others. But since we do not exist alone, such selfishness has never made anyone happy. Our existence depends on Krishna. Therefore any attempts to be happy separately from Krishna will always prove in the end to be a failure. We can only be truly happy when we reconnect ourselves with Krishna and share His mercy with everyone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: If I Don't Become Self-Realized?

Your "Thought of the Day" is a great help to me. What happens if I do not become fully self-realized in this lifetime? I try to meditate but then after several days it is becomes hard to meditate My mind deviates from meditation. In the beginning I am able meditate for a week without a problem but after that I am not able to concentrate, and I am fall back into illusion. Please help me. How can I keep this fresh and look forward to meditating everyday?


Answer: Follow This & Attain Supreme Perfection.

If you want to be steady in meditation and become fully self-realized in this lifetime, you must sincerely and seriously take to the path of Krishna bhakti. In other words, you need to awaken the pure love for Lord Krishna that is sleeping within your heart. When you love someone, you will naturally effortlessly meditate on that person 24 hours a day no matter what you are doing. Simply to mechanically fix your mind on something becomes quickly dry and hackneyed and will be soon be given up. So, don't worry. You can easily become self-realized in this life. All you have to do is awaken your love for Krishna by carefully following the instructions given by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 17 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: How to Get Out of the Dream?

The unreality of this material existence becomes so complicated that it is very difficult to get out of it. It is something like having a dream within a dream, within a dream, within a dream, within a dream. In other words, even if you realize you are dreaming, it becomes inextricably confusing when you realize that you are dreaming that you are dreaming that you are dreaming, that you are dreaming. How to wake up and get out? This is why a bona fide spiritual master is required. With one full swoop he immediately cuts completely through the hard knot of the million-layered phantasmagoria and brings you back to the reality of who you really are.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Srila Prabhupada Cuts Through Illusion

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Why the Supreme Personality?

Please advise why you refer to Lord Krishna as the “Supreme Personality” of Godhead. We could just say Lord Krishna or the Supreme Lord Krishna. So why is it that many ISKCON books and devotees refer to Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


Answer: He's Not the Impersonal Oneness

This is to make it very clear that God is a person. He's not the impersonal oneness as the Mayavadis claim.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 16 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Always Remain Alert

Just as in wartime the front line soldiers remain constantly vigilant guarding against an enemy attack, which can occur at any moment, in a similar way the fixed up devotee of the Lord is always on guard against the attack of maya. He knows that he must always take shelter of Krishna at every moment and that even a slight amount of inattention can prove to be disastrous.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Srila Prabhupada is Always Alert

in Krishna Consciousness

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Can We Change the Rules of ISKCON?

Dear Spiritual Master,

You are a person with lot of spiritual knowledge and years of dedication to ISKCON, and I am simple person who is worshipping Krishna and has spiritual knowledge gained after listening to saints in and reading books. Please forgive me if I am writing anything wrong but I need your point of view on these points. That's why I am writing this e-mail to you.

Times has changed a lot. We are now in 21st Century. But ISKCON is not changing. It is still very rigid and orthodox on its rules. Some rules seem very rigid and demanding, but at the same time these can be changed to suit present time scenario.

Rule No. 1: Not to eat onion or garlic.
These are not animal products, but are plant products and carry many nutritious benefit for human body. Why ISKCON is banning these for human consumption? 

Rule No. 2: Tea and coffee is banned.
I agree that these products carry caffeine which is a stimulant for mind. But still tea and coffee are useful while doing work in office and while preparing for examination.

Rule No. 3: No illicit sex.
Krishna has not said anywhere in the Bhagavad-gita that there should not be any sex between wife and husband except when there is a desire for a Krishna conscious child. Krishna has himself said that He is sex which is not going against dharma, He has not banned sex between wife and husband because sex between wife and husband is not against dharma. Only extra-marital affairs and sex without marriage is sex against dharma.

Now one more thing. Krishna has said in the Bhagavad-gita that this knowledge, which is the king of all knowledge, should not be given to persons who are not interested in Krishna consciousness or those persons who have no interest or faith in Krishna. So then why are ISKCON devotees going to these kind of people, who are deeply rooted materialists and do not even think about God, to distribute books? Isn't this a violation of the instruction of Krishna?

Now the final thing. One round of japa mala takes 10-15 minutes. So a total 16 round takes from 2 hrs 40 minutes to 4 Hrs. In this age where people spend more time in the office than at home, how is this possible to spent 2 hrs 40 minutes-4 Hrs on japameditation? There should not be under any compulsion to do 16 rounds daily. 

There is a requirement of fresh discussion/review of these rules by a committee of the spiritual masters of ISKCON. ISKCON has many spiritual masters, but has no central command after the demise of Founder-Acharya his Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Is there any committee of spiritual masters in ISKCON who reviews rules and regulations and suggest modifications or deletion/addition of rules and regulations?

I request you to answer my queries.

Hare Krishna,

Pankaj M.

Answer: Do Not Destroy Krishna Consciousness

Thank you very much for concern that ISKCON shall remain relevant in a constantly changing world. However, kindly note that in spite of so many changes the world is basically in the same consciousness as it was when Srila Prabhupada established our movement in 1966 and introduced the regulative principles of freedom to save us from birth and death. The world population was strongly addicted to material sense gratification then, and they still are.

But in spite of that we have hundreds and thousands of people who are strictly following these principles and deriving great benefit. Why should we deny them the benefits they are receiving by abandoning the principles established by our Founder-Acharya? Your idea does not make any sense. Actually we have only one rule, and that is to always be Krishna conscious. Other rules are accepted only if they help us to be Krishna conscious.

We take only the remnants of Krishna's eatables. Since He does not take onions and garlic, we naturally avoid these stinky foods, which are only dear to those in the lower modes of nature.

Krishna bhakti is the ultimate stimulant. If one is Krishna conscious he has no need of artificial, harmful stimulants.

Sex brings us down to bodily consciousness. Therefore anyone who is serious to become self-realized will naturally want to use sex only for procreation.

Because the devotees understand the innermost desire of the Lord to save the fallen souls, they engage themselves in the ultimate welfare activity of telling everyone about Krishna. This is confirmed by Krishna Himself, who appeared as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and ordered us to tell everyone about Krishna. The prohibition against preaching means not to try to preach to those who are hostile. It does not apply to approaching those who are innocent.

With a little practice mala can nicely be chanted in 1.5 to 2 hours day max. Anyone who says that they do not have 1.5 hours a day for japa should send me their daily schedule for analysis.

We cannot change the instructions of ISKCON's Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. If you do not like his instructions, you do not have to follow them. But we are finding great unlimited happiness in strictly following Srila Prabhupada's instructions. If you do not share our enthusiasm, you are still welcome to attend our programs, take prasadam, and be a member of our loving family; however, you will not be qualified to take initiation.

ISKCON does have a central governing body created by Srila Prabhupada to manage its affairs on the global level. That body is called the Governing Body Commission or GBC. They are fully dedicated to maintaining the standards established by Srila Prabhupada and will not change them upon your request because Srila Prabhupada's standards are not whimsical. They are all solidly based on that greatest of all wisdom which is emanating at every minute from the Vedic literatures.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 15 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Clear Away the Clutter

There is nothing worse than a cluttered brain because in such a confused state one cannot properly focus on anything, especially on life's ultimate goal of realizing God. Therefore the intelligent person regularly cleanses his mind by chanting God's holy names. Such regular chanting gradually clears away all the mental clutter and the devotee becomes solidly fixed in blissful, wise, and compassionate one-pointed Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Srila Prabhupada Deeply Absorbed in Japa

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: How You Say Krishna is the Only God?

Jesus Christ is the real truth. How do you say that Krishna is the only God? Where is the proof of His existence? Could God be dual characterized?

Servant of God

Answer: We Only Say to Purely Love God

We are not trying to prove to you that Krishna is God. We simply desire that everyone should purely love God. That's all. There is a Supreme Being who is the source of all existence. This we can prove. That Supreme Being is known by different names in different languages. You may address God according to your English language. That is very nice. But please try to understand that God is multilingual. He accepts us no matter what language we use to approach Him, as long we approach Him with love.

Whether we address Him in English, Latin, Sanskrit, Spanish, or whatever is not important. What is important is addressing Him with love. God is not particular about which language we use to address Him. He simply desires our love. Of course, if we truly love Him, we will obey His Biblical injunction against killing and stop eating the flesh of slaughtered animals. There is no reason to torture our innocent brothers and sisters, who have feelings and emotions just like we do, just for the sake of enjoying the taste of some bloody flesh in our mouths.

You asked if God can be dual. The answer is that He must be one. He cannot be two. Just as a nation has only one supreme court; there cannot be two supreme courts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 14 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Don't Be A Dumb Animal in a Slaughterhouse

Don't be like a dumb animal in a slaughter house complacently accepting birth, death, old age, and disease, blindly accepting them as unavoidable, unchangeable aspects of existence. You can easily and permanently conquer over them if you will simply revive your lost loving relationship with Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you do so, you will enter into an eternal, all-blissful, all-wise existence. So instead of blaming God for these miseries, be intelligent and blame yourself for foolishly accepting these miseries. In this way if you will take proper guidance from the bona fide spiritual master, you will conquer over them. 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Can You Request Prayer for Japan?

Respected Gurudeva,

I hope you must be aware of the misery in Japan. I am praying to the Lord that the nuclear reactor should not burst. Can you kindly request all the devotees to pray for the people of Japan?

S. Kumar

Answer: Why Only Japan?

I share your feelings of compassion for the horrible suffering of the people of Japan. There is one horror story after another. In the city of Minamisoma with a population of 70,000 practically every building was washed away by the tsunami and there was not a sign of even one survivor. What a hellish nightmare this is! Not only in Japan, but in every country and every city throughout world people are suffering horrible miseries every day. This is why I feel very sorry for the suffering humanity and like to often recite this prayer of the great mahajana, Sri Prahlada Maharaja:

svasty astu viśvasya khalaḥ prasīdatāṁ
dhyāyantu bhūtāni śivaṁ mitho dhiyā
manaś ca bhadraṁ bhajatād adhokṣaje
āveśyatāṁ no matir apy ahaitukī

"May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other's welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Sri Krishna, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him."
--Srimad Bhagavatam 5.18.9

If we can teach the people to live in perfect harmony with the laws of God, the ever-increasingly hellish atmosphere of this planet can be wonderfully transformed into heaven on earth. This is why we must now more than ever accept the duty given to us by Lord Caitanya to enlighten everyone, especially the leading members of the human society, in the all perfect science of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 13 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Attaining Immunity from Death

On Friday March 11, 2011 one of the the most ferocious earthquakes in recorded history slammed Japan triggering a 30 foot high tsunami wreaking inconceivable devastation on many Japanese towns and villages and sweeping all the way across the Pacific causing substantial damage and even death on the west coast of the USA. Where is the security in this world? There is none. This is why there is a saying, "As sure as death." Therefore the only way to obtain true and lasting peace of mind is become immune from death by awakening your dormant Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Earthquake Triggered Tsunami Devastates Japan

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: How We Fell from the Spiritual World?

I find it hard to understand the fact that we are originally part and parcel of Krishna but we have fallen from the spiritual world. My question is: Who would get distracted or attracted towards material world when Krishna is all-attractive, all powerful and the source of all happiness? One can only think of leaving Krishna when there is something better and more powerful than Him. Also, even if there is a slightest chance of returning to this material world, what is the point in trying to reach the spiritual world, Goloka Vrindavana? Please help me understand this better.


Answer: Incomprehensible Free Will Abuse

You are finding it hard to understand how we fell from the spiritual world because it is incomprehensible. Why would a child stick his hand in the fire after his parents warned him not to? A foolish child out of curiosity may stick his hand in the fire once, but he will not do it a second time. Therefore, now after you have foolishly burned yourself in this material existence, if you will make your determination to go back to Godhead, once achieving that most sublime deathless realm, you will not stick your hand in the fire again.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 12 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Human Civilization or Ant Civilization?

Human civilization devoid of God consciousness is an ant civilization. The ants are running this way and that way simply to get food to take back to their anthill. A human civilization whose only focus is material sense gratification is no more of a civilization than an anthill. Real human civilization means self-realization civilization, not ant civilization. As long as they remain like ants simply pursuing material sense gratification, the stringent laws of material nature will dictate that they take birth again as ants.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Human Highway

Less Congested Ant Highway

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Why Can't Krishna Save A Fallen Devotee?

It is stated that Krishna is merciful and very kind. Krishna is very dear to His devotees. And those who glorify Krishna are very much dear to Him. So my question is: If someone renders service to Krishna, feels attachment to Him, and gradually become purified, why does he fall down and forget Krishna? Why can't Krishna save him from falling down?


Answer: Why Does He Embrace Maya?

This reminds me of the story of the disciple who told his spiritual master, "Guru Maharaja, maya will not let go of me." The spiritual master then hugged a tree tightly crying out, "Let go of me. Let go of me."

Krishna is giving us all facility to be saved. It is simply up to us to take advantage of it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 11 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Pure Devotees Don't Fall Down

One who is solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness never falls down because he is constantly relishing within his heart a sweetness which surpasses by millions, billions, and even trillions of times the happiness derived from material sense gratification. Even if he were offered heavenly enjoyment in the upper planetary systems where the pleasure is thousands of times greater than the pleasure on this planet, he would still not be allured because even one drop of the ocean of transcendental bliss is more satisfying and uplifting than unlimited oceans of sensual pleasure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

The Pure Devotee Relishes Unlimited Transcendental Bliss

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Are Indian Gurus Superior?

There are some devotees in ISKCON saying that the Indian gurus are more bona fide than the Western gurus. So can you please give some sastric proof that this is not a correct statement? 

Your servant,
Gopati Krishna Dasa

Seremban, Malaysia

Answer: Hell's Residents Make Such Distinctions

Anyone who judges the authenticity of a spiritual master based of his body type has a hellish, racist mentality and is completely unqualified to understand who is a bona fide spiritual master and who is not.

This is confirmed as follows in the Padma Purana:

"One who thinks that the worshipable Deity in the temple is made of wood or stone, one who sees a Vaisnava guru as an ordinary human being, or one who materially conceives of a Vaisnava as belonging to a particular caste is naraki, a resident of hell."

Since the first principle of spiritual knowledge is that we are not these bodies, it is unthinkable that any members of ISKCON could be thinking this way. Kindly report this matter to the local ISKCON authorities where this misconception is going on so that these misinformed persons can be brought to the proper standard of spiritual knowledge. Otherwise there is no question of their being able to make any spiritual advancement.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 10 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought: Steady Through Happiness and Distress

Just as the seasons regularly change, in this material world we are regularly faced with the dualities of happiness and distress. Just as the seasons cannot be changed, the happiness and distress of this material existence will continue to go on in a cyclical fashion. Therefore we should not allow ourselves to be disturbed in any situation and should continue to execute the duties given to us by our spiritual master in all circumstances.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Krishna Consciousness on the Job

Gurudeva, many of Krishna’s devotees have normal everyday jobs. Therefore, can you please explain how the devotees transform their mundane employment into a Krishna conscious activity? 

Your humble servant,
Li Di

Answer: Offer the Results to Krishna

The devotee makes his job Krishna conscious by engaging the income derived from it in Krishna's service. In this way his job becomes perfectly dovetailed in Krishna's service. In other words, he spends his income in a manner that is pleasing to Krishna. In this way just as Arjuna engaged his job in Krishna's service and became fully satisfied, the devotee also engages his job in the service of Krishna and becomes fully satisfied.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 9 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: A Devotee is Kind

The first qualification for a being a devotee of Krishna is to be kind. If a person is actually Krishna conscious, his heart will bleed with compassion to see the suffering condition of the human society, and he will fully dedicate his life to saving them in spite of all the criticism that he receives for doing so. Jesus Christ did not let anything stand in the way of the execution of his mission to save the people from their suffering. He was undaunted even in the face of crucifixion. 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Srila Prabhupada is Unlimitedly Kind

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Who Can Become the Next Acharya?

Do you deliver your disciple personally or does Srila Prabhupada deliver him? Did Srila Prabhupada give you the order to be the next acharya? I know he said for all his disciple to be guru. Of course, that does not mean acharya.

You said "I was blessed with the greatest mercy of being accepted as a disciple of such an uttama-adhikari, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. And now on his order I have fully absorbed my life in pushing forward this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world for the deliverance of all living beings. Even though he has departed from this world, it is not that he is dead and gone. He lives forever in my heart and in the hearts of all those who follow his instructions." (dated Aug 1st, 2010)

I recently read the Direction of Management, which was signed by Srila Prabhupada. He never appointed any acharya. He told this to many of his top Sannyasis and disciples, but they assumed their new position after he left this world without his order.

My question is "Did Srila Prabhupada directly appoint you as the next acharya as you stated above in your e-mail?

Pushpendra dasa

Answer: Whoever Strictly Follows His Acharya

The answer to your first question is: No bona fide spiritual master considers himself to be the deliverer of his disciples. Rather he simply considers himself to be a humble messenger on behalf the previous acharyas and Lord Sri Krishna.

The answer to your second question is that Srila Prabhupada did not appoint me to be the next acharya, because acharya is not by appointment; it is by qualification. But he did instruct all of his disciples that we should become qualified acharyas and initiate disciples. 

You are making an artificial distinction between guru and acharya. Srila Prabhupada says, "A guru is called also an acharya, or a person who has personally assimilated all the essence of sastras and has helped his disciples to adopt the ways."

It never ceases to amaze when people who never met Srila Prabhupada or even saw him from a distance, who were never personally instructed by him think that they understand his instructions better than those of us who were personally trained by him. This is the one of the symptoms of the present age of Kali that people become easily illusioned.

Srila Prabhupada did not appoint any disciple as the one next acharya. His said that he wanted all of his disciples to beacharyas as defined in his purport to the Caitanya Caritamrita as follows:

"One who knows the conclusion of the sastras, follows in the footsteps of his predecessors and endeavors to preach the bhakticult all over the world is to be considered an acharya." ---Antya 3.223

I have also read Srila Prabhupada's Direction of Management, which he wrote in 1970 for the purpose of establishing ISKCON's Governing Body Commission. This document has nothing to do with who initiates disciples after Srila Prabhupada's departure. Regarding this, he told us in Vrindavan in May of 1977 that the new devotees would become the disciples of his disciples.

Srila Prabhupada instructed his disciples in Mayapura on 6 April 1975 that when they become mature they should becomeacharyas and initiate disciples. We do not have to guess what is that maturity qualification. Srila Prabhupada gave us this verse from Srila Rupa Goswami which clearly states the qualification for being able to initiate disciples all over the world:

vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ
jihvā-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ
sarvām apīmāṁ pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt

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

---Nectar of Instruction, Verse 1

It's a fact that nobody can become an acharya simply by being nominated. There is only one way for a disciple of an acharya to also become an acharya. Srila Prabhupada describes that way as follows in a lecture in gave in New York City on 1 December 1966:

"Acharya means one who has become a rigid disciple of his acharya."

You say that I said that Srila Prabhupada appointed me as the next acharya. But I have never said that. You are simply fabricating this out of the air. You quoted me as follows:

"And now on his order I have fully absorbed my life in pushing forward this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world for the deliverance of all living beings."

Nowhere in the above quote do I state that Srila Prabhupada appointed me to become the next acharya. I clearly did not make such a statement. 

Srila Prabhupada repeatedly ordered his disciples to push this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world for the deliverance of the illusioned souls of this age. For example, he ordered us on 17 December 1973 in Los Angeles, California, USA at the conclusion of his lecture on the Srimad Bhagavatam:

"Become guru and deliver the whole world."

We are sometimes criticized by naysayers for our sincere endeavor to follow the instructions of our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. But what can we do? According to Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Authority, as Prabhupada's disciples it is our duty to serve his orders. Srila Prabhupada taught us that the disciple should take the order received from his spiritual master as his very life and soul. So we have to do that. We have no other option. 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 8 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Don't Be a Slave of the Box

Even in material life we see that thinking outside of the box, in other words thinking beyond the mental stereotypes imposed upon us by the material society, has its distinct advantages. For example, normally it is considered that the road to material success is to get a college degree. But two of the most successful paradigm-shifting innovators in today's society, Bill Gates-the founder of Microsoft and Steven Jobs-the co-founder of Apple Computers, were both college dropouts. The point is that that we should not be blind followers of the material civilization. We should use our own intelligence to see that because every machine has an operator the gigantic cosmic machine must therefore also have an operator. We should not be blindly swept away by Darwinian atheism, even though it is being taught in the universities and regularly promoted in the mass media as gospel. Don't be a slave of the box. Use your intelligence, see things as they are, and act in full accordance and harmony with the sublime reality of which you are a part.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Don't Think Inside the Box

Think Outside of the Box

Srila Prabhupada Launches the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 
in New York City's Tompkins Square Park

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Mayavadi and Krishna Consciousness

My question is: What is the major difference between Mayavadi philosophy and Krishna conscious philosophy? Why did Srila Prabhupada always advise us not to hear Mayavadi philosophy?

Your Servant
Mittal K.

Answer: God is Person, Not an Imperson

Mayavadis consider that all persons including Krishna are actually illusions and the only reality is God, the unmanifested, impersonal oneness. In other words they consider the form of Krishna to be maya or an illusion. This is why they are called Mayavadis, because they consider the form of Krishna to be maya. If a devotee becomes attracted to hearing Mayavadi philosophy, he will naturally give up devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because he will think that ultimately there is no person named Krishna. Mayavadism is especially dangerous because it is derived from a twisted misinterpretation of the Vedic scriptures, especially the Vedanta Sutra.

Mayavadi philosophy attracts the foolish class of men because it teaches them that they are God, that all they have to do is wake up and realize that they are God. But we are not fooled by it. If I am actually God, how could I have ever forgotten it? This would mean that forgetfulness is greater than God and that therefore forgetfulness is actually God, not me.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 7 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Warning: Do Not Look at Govinda

As quoted by Srila Rupa Goswami, one gopi warned her gopi girlfriend:

"My dear friend, if you still have any inclination to enjoy material society, friendship, and love, then please do not look at the smiling face of Govinda as He stands on the bank of the Yamuna at Kesighat. Casting sidelong glances, He places His flute to His lips, which seem like newly blossomed twigs. His transcendental body, bending in three places, appears very bright in the moonlight."

This is reverse psychology. This gopi is giving the greatest encouragement to her gopi friend to go and behold the most beautiful smiling face of Govinda by advising her not to go. It is a fact that once we get a taste of Krishna's sublime beauty we will never again be attracted to or satisfied by the so-called attractive things of this world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Govinda on the Bank of the Yamuna River

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Survival Without Making Money?

I totally agree that this material world is a place of bad association and that our consciousness is affected by our many hours of daily association at our jobs with the materialists.

You said, "Your life should not be centered around earning your livelihood. It must be centered instead on awakening the dormant Krishna consciousness, which is currently sound asleep within your heart. This will give you a life of unbelievably stimulating happiness."

I am earning my livelihood by working, but my mornings and evenings are spent at least in doing some devotional services like chanting, taking care of the altar, cooking prasadam and offering it to the Supreme Lord etc. My question is: If we give up the aspect of earning money for our livelihood, how can we survive?

Your servant,


Answer: Survival Depends on God, Not Money

I do not say that you should give up making money. Money is a necessary medium of exchange in today's society. I simply say that making money should not be the center or purpose of your life. Rather, your life should be centered on life's ultimate goal, namely to go back to home, back to Godhead. It is only by seriously adopting this purpose that you will attain genuine happiness. This is the only lifestyle that makes sense, because God is the actual provider of all your necessities, not your job. If there were no food, air, and water supplied by God, do you think that you could survive even for one moment by the money you earn at your job? We cannot breathe money, drink money, or eat money. Therefore money is always of secondary importance, while serving God is of primary importance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 6 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought: That Wondrous Spiritual Sky

Why settle for ever-increasing chaos and confusion in this material world's cycle of birth and death when you can instead taste ever-increasing bliss by reviving the dormant love of God within you heart? While suffering is the pastime of the ignorant, those who are wise move up to a higher level of consciousness beyond the three modes of material nature and qualify themselves to regain their eternal identities in that wondrous spiritual sky where people never die.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

The Amazing Spiritual Sky, Land of Immortality

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Godhead and Mayavadis

My dear Srila Gurudeva,

Why do we call God "Godhead"? And why does Your Grace talk about Mayavadi followers as people who do not worship well and do not understand, while we are asked to accept all religions and their way of expressing themselves? 


Answer: Head God and Formlessness Advocates

The word "god" can refer to any controller such as the moon god, the sun god, etc. But when we say Godhead we are referring to the Supreme God, the supreme controller, the source of all existence.

A Mayavadi is someone who says that the form and personality of God is maya or an illusion. Religion means to give loving service to God. But if there is no person there to accept our loving service, there is no question of religion. One may approach God as Krishna, Allah, or Jehovah. That is alright. But if we deny that He is person, as the Mayavadis do, there is no question of religion. In other words, Mayavadi philosophy is a covered form of atheism. They say that they accept God, but then they say that He has no form and no personality. It is better to come out honestly and declare oneself to be an atheist, than to say "I am a theist" and then deny God's form and personality, as the Mayavadis do. 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 5 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought: Unbelievably Stimulating Happiness

This material world is a place of bad association. This is why you need the association of Krishna's devotees as much as possible. And this is why it is imperative that you take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master for being expertly guided along the pathway of self-realization. In other words, your consciousness is a mirror of those with whom you associate. By associating with materialists you become a materialist. And by associating with spiritualists you become a spiritualist. Since earning a livelihood means associating with materialists for many hours a day, your life should not be centered around earning your livelihood. It must be centered instead on awakening the dormant Krishna consciousness, which is currently sound asleep within your heart. This will give you a life of unbelievably stimulating happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Great Saint's Association Gives Unlimited Benefit

Srila Prabhupada Walks With His Disciple

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Is Jesus the Only Way?

Dear Gurudeva,

Please guide me out from the confusion that I have in my mind. At the moment I am in a relationship with a girl who accepts Lord Jesus Christ as her savior and her only Lord. I really wish to get married and have a Krishna conscious family with her in the future. But anytime we talk about it she always argues that only by accepting Lord Jesus can we save our lives and be together. I try to explain all I know about Lord Sri Krishna and teach her to chant the mahamantra. But when she is chanting the mahamantra she always remembers the words of Lord Jesus and she becomes sad and feels that she is making a big sin.

Gurudeva, please enlighten me about this matter. Is there any information about Lord Jesus in the Vedas?


Answer: The Way of Jesus is the Only Way

Since Jesus is teaching the path of exclusive devotion to the Supreme Lord, we accept that his way is the only way. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita in which Krishna states that we should abandon all other duties and simply surrender to Him. Therefore we have no problem or disagreement with the teachings of Jesus. The only problem is that the so-called Christians do not understand the teachings of Jesus.

It does not make any sense for this girl to be so disturbed. Nicely explain to her that since, according to the revealed scriptures, Jesus is the son of God and Krishna is God the Father, there cannot be any disagreement between them. Therefore whether we chant Christ or Krishna, in either case we awaken the feelings of love of God within our hearts. If we accept the son, we cannot reject the father. And if we accept the father, we cannot reject the son. So, those who are learned in the science of devotion accept with loving gratitude both Lord Jesus and Lord Krishna.

Christ was predicted 3,000 years before his appearance by Srila Vyasadeva in the Bhavisya Purana, as Jesus--the Messiah, who would establish religious principles among the mlecchas

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 4 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: If You Want to Taste the Real Nectar

If you want to taste the real nectar of Krishna consciousness, you must master the art of regularly diving deeply into the sweet, nectarean ocean of Lord Sri Krishna's holy names. The deeper you go, the sweeter it gets. And all the miseries of material existence will gradually fade away into non-existence. In other words you will no longer be touched by them. You will awaken to your eternal, pure identity as a servant of Krishna, the most munificent, beautiful person, who is ever inviting the fallen conditioned souls to associate with Him in the ever-expandingly sublime rasa of devotion, the eternal serving mood.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

The Most Munificent, Beautiful Krishna

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Suicide and Abortion?

I would like to know your opinion about suicide. It's a very low act, but it is not like harming other creatures. After committing this act, after leaving the body and that particular unwanted life, where does the soul of the doer go? How about abortion? How about the soul that has already resided in the developing embryo?


Answer: Ghost Life and Being Aborted

It is not a matter of opinion. According to the stringent laws of material nature if one commits suicide, in his next life he will not be granted a gross body. He will exist simply in a subtle body as a ghost. In other words, the karmic reaction for destroying his gross body is to not be granted another gross body in his next life.

If one is so frustrated and miserable that he wants to end his life, he should instead put an end to his miserable material life by taking to Krishna consciousness. In this way he will enter into an eternal, blissful life even while continuing in this body. And upon leaving his body, he will enter the spiritual world.

A soul who is aborted is undergoing the karmic reaction for having aborted a child in his previous life time. If he was responsible for multiple abortions, he will again and again appear in a mother's womb and be aborted for each of the abortions.

This is why we oppose abortion and recommend that those who do not want to take the responsibility of raising a child should completely restrain themselves from sex indulgence. The child enters the mother's womb at the moment of conception, and to kill a child at any stage of his development is greatly sinful. Therefore, instead of trying to find some happiness through some temporary sense pleasure such as sex, one should move up to a higher level of pleasure on the transcendental self-realization platform of Krishna consciousness, where life is eternal and full of unlimited bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 3 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought: There's Nothing Like Krishna Consciousness

There's nothing like Krishna consciousness throughout the three worlds. Indeed, it is unsurpassable with no rival throughout the entirety of existence. It is the quintessence of sweetness, the epitome of knowledge, as well as the topmost perfection of love. And most wonderfully, it is readily available right now for all those who ardently desire it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Why Lord Shiva Smokes Marijuana?

My dear Gurudeva,

I beg to clarify a doubt. A Muslim friend of mine argued that Lord Shiva is considered as the greatest Vaishnava, but yet he contradicts Vaishnava principles by smoking marijuana. Why does Lord Shiva smoke marijuana, even though he is considered to be the greatest Vaishnava?

Surender K.

Answer: He Can Smoke It, While We Cannot.

Just as the sun is so powerful it can extract water from urine without being polluted, Lord Shiva is so powerful that he can swallow an ocean of poison without being harmed. Similarly, he can smoke marijuana without losing his stature as the greatest of Vaishnavas. Those who want to smoke marijuana, justifying this by Shiva's smoking it, will first have to prove their prowess by drinking an ocean of poison without being harmed. 

I have not read anywhere where our acharyas have explained why he smokes marijuana. To know why he smokes it is not very important. The important thing to know is that he can smoke it, while we cannot.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Lord Shiva Drinks an Ocean of Poison

Wednesday 2 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Hare Krishna World Mission

The Hare Krishna movement was started to save the world from degradation and devastation. We are requesting therefore that all thoughtful and sensitive persons throughout the world should now seriously investigate this movement to see how it can save the world and then join forces with this movement for bringing in a new age of peace and prosperity for all. Since, at least for now, this world is the home that we all share, we should make it the best place possible by flooding it with Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Devotees Singing and Dancing in Boston

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Rama and Hare in the Mahamantra

My questions are this:

In the mahamantra does the name 'Rama' refer to Lord Balarama, to Sri Ramachandra, the son of King Dasarath, or to Parsurama, who killed many ksatriya kings?

Does the name 'Hare' in the same mahamantra refer to Radharani, the personified energy of pleasure of Lord Sri Krishna?


Answer: Any and All and Radharani

Rama in the Hare Krishna mantra can refer to all three of them. It also refers to Krishna Himself, because as the Supreme Enjoyer He is also called Rama. Hare is the vocative form of calling out to Mother Hara, who is Srimati Radharani.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 1 March 2011

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA 

Today's Thought: Unstable, Artificial Economy

Presently the world economy is based on oil, which is in limited supply and will eventually run out. Therefore to base the global economy on oil is artificial and not a very intelligent way of organizing the human society. We are told that there will be alternative sources of energy such as solar power to take the place of oil before it is gone. But where is the proof that alternative sources of energy can sustain the human civilization? We already have the time-proven Vedic economic system that is based on the land, cows and bulls. Why are the current world leaders not encouraging these natural energy sources for economic stability in this time of an ever-increasingly unstable global economy? It's time they wake up and start doing their jobs properly before it's too late.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Which is Better for Long Run Economic Stability?

Ox Power

or Oil Power?

Answers According to the Vedic Version: 

Question: Why Preference to Krishna?

Please accept my humble obeisances 

I have a question: We chant the mahamantra giving preference to Krishna more than Rama. Why?


Answer: Krishna is the Original Supreme Person

Krishna is naturally preferred because, according to the Vedic scriptures and the great acharyas who guided the Vedic civilization for thousands of years, He is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



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