Sankarshan Das Adhikari, was born on Nov. 7, 1947 in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a notable religious leader and initiating guru within the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He received initiation in the tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism from A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on the 12th of August in 1971.
Sankarshan Das Adhikari received instruction from Vishnujana Swami, also a disciple of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He served ISKCON in various capacities from 1972 to 1982, including as an assistant to Tamal Krishna Goswami. He worked as a Computer Programmer from 1986-1990, was an award winning salesperson for MCI Telecom from 1991-1993. He started and maintained the ISKCON centre in Norman, Oklahoma, USA, in 1982-1984, reopened ISKCON Austin in 1991, and ran a successful home-based part-time travel business to support ISKCON Austin. He worked to bring the Back to Godhead magazine to print, and was #1 in the worldwide distribution of BTG magazine subscriptions. He was the Sales Manager for BTG magazine from 1991 to 1994. In December 2000, on Gita Jayanti day, the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON gave its blessings for Sankarshan Das to begin initiating disciples. In January 2004, he retired from business to become a full time preacher.
The name Sankarshana is another name of Balarama brother of Krishna, literally means "one who attracts away unhappiness or illness and guides one to the level of equanimity". The name is a combination of the Sanskrit words "Samyak" and "Karshan". Sankarshan Das Adhikari is a servant of that personality of Vishnu. According to the Vaishnava Calendar, Sankarshan Das Adhikari was born on the tenth day of the sacred month of Kartik. Sankarshan Das Adhikari was formally initiated into Krishna Consciousness in 1971, and was a Brahmachari until 1985, Grihastha, or householder, married to Vishnupriya Devi Dasi in 1985. His present status is Vanaprastha or retirement from married life, even though his wife travels with him on his world travels.
Sharing Krishna Consciousness over the Internet
Sankarshan Das Adhikari runs a popular e-course on Bhagavad Gita and a daily Thought for the day email newsletter featuring realizations, scriptural references, and a candid Q&A, written on the road or from various places around the world with over 10,000 subscribers worldwide from over 100 countries. He travels year-round to places in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, making many stopovers and detours along the way as is necessary for preaching. His home base is the ISKCON Austin Centre, which he returns to between world preaching tours. With over 50 initiated disciples worldwide, Sankarshan Das Adhikari continues to provide spiritual guidance and practical advice on becoming fully God conscious.
Sankarshan Das Adhikari is well-known in the Krishna Consciousness and other communities worldwide for being an "Internet Guru", meaning that he has innovated a way of attracting, cultivating, maintaining, guiding, counseling, and communicating regularly with his formally initiated disciples, informal students, and other seekers of knowledge around the world in a very personal manner, but relying very heavily on the Internet. This is in line with a basic principle that a spiritual master must present the original teachings of Krishna in an unadulterated fashion and taking into account time, place, circumstance, and that everything used in connection with and in the service of Krishna becomes non-material and ceases to be a cause for bondage
Before joining ISKCON, he was a counter-cultural singer-songwriter searching for spiritual enlightenment and a message that could deliver the world from chaos. In the past, Sankarshan Das has produced an album "From Hare Krishna with Love". In 1969, he performed at the a Golden Gate Park concert along with the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airline, two very influential rock band of the counter-cultural era. As a songwriter, he wrote over 300 songs that were described as Dylanesque (after the style of Bob Dylan) minus the cynicism.
On October 3, 2008, Vishnupriya Dasi, a notable ISKCON religious leader and wife of Sankarshan Das Adhikaria, had a brain hemorrhage while leading religious services at the ISKCON temple in Copenhagen, Denmark. As of July 2009, Vishnupriya Devi Dasi has recovered and is enthusiastically engaged in her service to Sri-Sri Radha-Damodar, traveling and preaching with her husband Sankarshan Das Adhikari.
of this course, His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari, ia a practitioner and
teacher of the science of Bhakti Yoga for over 38 years. He is an initiated
disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder/Acharya
of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), from whom he
has learned the topmost system of spiritual enlightenment, known as Krishna
Consciousness or Bhakti Yoga.
Before departing this world in 1977, Srila Prabhupada instructed Sriman
Sankarshan Das Adhikari and his other disciples to take up his mission of
propagating the ultimate science of Bhakti throughout the whole world for the
benefit of all suffering humanity.
In obedience to
Srila Prabhupada, Sankarshan Das Adhikari has fully taken up the banner of pure
devotional service to the Supreme Godhead, and made it his life's mission to
spread the Krishna consciousness science as far and wide as possible throughout
the world. In the year 2000, in reconfirmation of his spiritual master’s order,
he received the blessings of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) to make
disciples all over the world.
headquartered at Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA, he regularly
travels throughout the globe with his wife, Her Grace Srimati Vishnupriya Mataji,
giving lectures on pure devotional service, enlivening and enlightening his
varied audiences with this supreme knowledge, which has been so kindly bestowed
upon him by his spiritual master. Thus he regularly travels in North America,
Europe, India, and elsewhere, even in middle-eastern countries such as Turkey,
to meet with his students and disciples to share the innermost secrets of how to
perfect one’s consciousness.
As a means to
reach the most people across all boundaries of nationality, race, or creed, he
has made this supreme knowledge freely available over the Internet through his
e-course, “The Ultimate Self-Realization Course"™. As an adjunct to this course
his realizations and selected correspondence are also made available via
“Thought for the Day”, an e-zine, which is sent daily via the Internet to
inspire and guide his thousands of students around the globe. One can freely
subscribe to these at:
www.backtohome.com On this site you will find a searchable archive updated
daily of Srila Sankarshan das Adhikari's daily thoughts and weekly lessons.
The visitors of this
website are invited to return as a regular daily function to explore the
ever-new and fresh contributions made by His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari, a
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"Beyond Bodily Consciousness--Entering the Supreme
The Ultimate Self Realization Course (tm)
the World's Leading Self Realization Training System
Thousands Around the Globe to the Highest Enlightenment
Your personalized Self Realization Training Program
Taught by His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Under the guidance and inspiration of ISKCON Founder-Acharya:
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
The self-realized life is
the ultimate lifestyle because it elevates the practitioner out of the
realm of temporality, ignorance, and misery into the dimension of
eternity, knowledge, and bliss. In this material world everyone is
striving for this. However, due to a poor fund of knowledge they are
striving for it in the wrong way. It is generally felt that money,
power, and prestige can purchase happiness, but the anxiety-ridden
lives of those who have attained money, power, and prestige proves that
this is not where happiness is found.
Sometimes those who have wealth, influence and fame may temporarily
think they have attained happiness by these things, but sooner or later
it becomes obvious that they have not. Sadly this is usually too late
for them to be able to get free from their entanglement in the material
energy to devote their energy fully to the self-realization process.
Therefore it behooves one to solidly embark on the self-realization
pathway as early as possible. In ancient times even the young boy,
Prahlada, became a great self-realized soul. In fact he is celebrated
even today as one of the twelve great Mahajanas, the most highly
realized personalities of history.
So how does one begin the self-realization process? The first thing you
have to realize is that you are not your body. As long as we think that
the self and the body are the same we can never become self realized.
This illusory state of mind is called bodily consciousness. The devotee
of self-realization must be firmly fixed in understanding, “I am not my
The body is constantly changing. At every moment the old blood
corpuscles are dying and new blood corpuscles are taking their place.
Just as the water in the river is constantly changing, the cells that
make up our bodies are constantly changing. What today is a water
molecule of Mississippi River water was yesterday Ohio River water.
Next week it will be Gulf of Mexico water. So what actually is the
Mississippi River? It’s a place that attracts the water molecules to
flow through it. Similarly you are actually the atma, an eternal
spiritual being, who attracts the molecules that constitute your
physical body to conglomerate around you for a certain period of time
until they flow somewhere else. Just as the water molecules in the
Mississippi River constantly change, the cells that make up your body
are constantly changing.
To enter the supreme self-realization lifestyle you must completely
discard the conception that you are male or female, black or white, old
or young, Russian or American, etc. However, simply negating your
physical existence is not sufficient. Mere negation is
impractical. It does not give you any platform on which you can
function. Therefore you must positively assert your spiritual
identity. There are some philosophers who assert that the self is
simply false. But if this is the case, who is asserting that the self
is false? If they (according to their philosophy) do not exist, how can
they assert that the self is false? They cannot do so. Therefore this
absurd philosophy cancels itself out and cannot be accepted as valid.
It is confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita that we are
not this body:
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
“As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood
to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at
death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.”
We can remember experiences we had when we were small children even
though the cells that constitute or make up the material body have all
changed. Therefore it is obvious that I and my body are two, not one.
At the time when someone dies we lament that they have passed away, but
yet their body is lying there in the funeral home. It is obvious from
our intuitive understanding at such moments that the self and the body
and not the same. But yet every day we get up and look into the mirror
foolishly wondering, “How do I look today?” We constantly
identify the body as the self. This is our present state of illusion.
By hearing the words of God from the authorized scriptures such as the
Bhagavad-gita, and by hearing the words of self-realized souls who are
situated perfectly in spiritual consciousness without any tinge of
bodily consciousness, we can understand that we are not these bodies.
And then if we can fully implement the instructions we receive from the
Lord and from the spiritual masters, we will fully realize that we are
not these through the complete awakening of our original consciousness
as eternal spiritual beings.
Sankarshan Das Adhikari