Hiranyakasipu, King of the Demons
As described in this chapter, after the annihilation of Hiranyaksa, Hiranyaksa's sons and his brother Hiranyakasipu were very much aggrieved. Hiranyakasipu reacted very sinfully by trying to diminish the religious activities of people in general. However, he instructed his nephews about a history just to diminish their aggrievement.
When the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as the boar and killed Hiranyakasipu's brother Hiranyaksa, Hiranyakasipu was very much aggrieved. In anger, he accused the Supreme Personality of Godhead of being partial to His devotees and derided the Lord's appearance as Varaha to kill his brother. He began to agitate all the demons and Raksasas and disturb the ritualistic ceremonies of the peaceful sages and other inhabitants of earth. For want of the performance of yajna, sacrifice, the demigods began wandering unseen on earth.
After finishing the ritualistic funeral ceremonies of his brother, Hiranyakasipu began speaking to his nephews, quoting from the sastras about the truth of life. To pacify them, he spoke as follows: "My dear nephews, for heroes to die before the enemy is glorious. According to their different fruitive activities, living entities come together within this material world and are again separated by the laws of nature. We should always know, however, that the spirit soul, which is different from the body, is eternal, unadjustable, pure, all-pervading and aware of everything. When bound by the material energy, the soul takes birth in higher or lower species of life according to varying association and in this way receives various types of bodies in which to suffer or enjoy. One's affliction by the conditions of material existence is the cause of happiness and distress; there are no other causes, and one should not be aggrieved upon seeing the superficial actions of karma."
Hiranyakasipu then related a historical incident concerning a King Suyajna who resided in the country named Usinara. When the King was killed, his queens, overwhelmed with grief, received instructions, which Hiranyakasipu quoted to his nephews. Hiranyakasipu related an account of a kulinga bird pierced by the arrow of a hunter while lamenting for his wife, who had also been shot by the same hunter. By narrating these stories, Hiranyakasipu pacified his nephews and other relatives and relieved them of lamentation. Thus having been pacified, Diti and Rusabhanu, Hiranyakasipu's mother and sister-in-law, engaged their minds in spiritual understanding.
bhratary evam vinihate
paryatapyad rusa suca
sri-naradah uvaca--Sri Narada Muni said; bhratari--when the brother (Hiranyaksa); evam--thus; vinihate--was killed; harina--by Hari; kroda-murtina--in the form of the boar, Varaha; hiranyakasipuh--Hiranyakasipu; rajan--O King; paryatapyat--was afflicted; rusa--by anger; suca--by grief.
Sri Narada Muni said: My dear King Yudhisthira, when Lord Visnu, in the form of Varaha, the boar, killed Hiranyaksa, Hiranyaksa's brother Hiranyakasipu was extremely angry and began to lament.
Yudhisthira had inquired from Narada Muni why Hiranyakasipu was so envious of his own son Prahlada. Narada Muni began narrating the story by explaining how Hiranyakasipu had become a staunch enemy of Lord Visnu.
aha cedam rusa purnah
niriksan dhumram ambaram
aha--said; ca--and; idam--this; rusa--with anger; purnah--full; sandasta--bitten; dasana-chadah--whose lips; kopa-ujjvaladbhyam--blazing with anger; caksurbhyam--with eyes; niriksan--looking over; dhumram--smoky; ambaram--the sky.
Filled with rage and biting his lips, Hiranyakasipu gazed at the sky with eyes that blazed in anger, making the whole sky smoky. Thus he began to speak.
As usual, the demon is envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and inimical toward Him. These were Hiranyakasipu's external bodily features as he considered how to kill Lord Visnu and devastate His kingdom, Vaikunthaloka.
sulam udyamya sadasi
danavan idam abravit
karala-damstra--with terrible teeth; ugra-drstya--and fierce glance; duspreksya--horrible to see; bhru-kuti--with frowning eyebrows; mukhah--whose face; sulam--trident; udyamya--raising; sadasi--in the assembly; danavan--to the demons; idam--this; abravit--spoke.
Exhibiting his terrible teeth, fierce glance and frowning eyebrows, terrible to see, he took up his weapon, a trident, and thus began speaking to his associates, the assembled demons.
bho bho danava-daiteya
dvimurdhams tryaksa sambara
namuce paka ilvala
vipracitte mama vacah
kriyatam asu ma ciram
bhoh--O; bhoh--O; danava-daiteyah--Danavas and Daityas; dvi-murdhan--Dvimurdha (two-headed); tri-aksa--Tryaksa (three-eyed); sambara--Sambara; sata-baho--Satabahu (hundred-armed); hayagriva--Hayagriva (horse-headed); namuce--Namuci; paka--Paka; ilvala--Ilvala; vipracitte--Vipracitti; mama--my; vacah--words; puloman--Puloma; sakuna--Sakuna; adayah--and others; srnuta--just hear; anantaram--after that; sarve--all; kriyatam--let it be done; asu--quickly; ma--do not; ciram--delay.
O Danavas and Daityas! O Dvimurdha, Tryaksa, Sambara and Satabahu ! O Hayagriva, Namuci, Paka and Ilvala! O Vipracitti, Puloman, Sakuna and other demons! All of you, kindly hear me attentively and then act according to my words without delay.
sapatnair ghatitah ksudrair
bhrata me dayitah suhrt
sapatnaih--by the enemies; ghatitah--killed; ksudraih--insignificant in power; bhrata--brother; me--my; dayitah--very dear; suhrt--well-wisher; parsni-grahena--attacking from the rear; harina--by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; samena--equal to everyone (both the demigods and demons); api--although; upadhavanaih--by the worshipers, the demigods.
My insignificant enemies the demigods have combined to kill my very dear and obedient well-wisher, my brother Hiranyaksa. Although the Supreme Lord, Visnu, is always equal to both of us--namely, the demigods and the demons--this time, being devoutly worshiped by the demigods, He has taken their side and helped them kill Hiranyaksa.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (9.29), samo 'ham sarva-bhutesu: the Lord is equal to all living entities. Since the demigods and demons are both living entities, how is it possible that the Lord was partial to one class of living beings and opposed to another? Actually it is not possible for the Lord to be partial. Nonetheless, since the demigods, the devotees, always strictly follow the Supreme Lord's orders, because of sincerity they are victorious over the demons, who know that the Supreme Lord is Visnu but do not follow His instructions. Because of constantly remembering the Supreme personality of Godhead, Visnu, the demons generally attain sayujya-mukti after death. The demon Hiranyakasipu accused the Lord of being partial because the demigods worshiped Him, but in fact the Lord, like the government, is not partial at all. The government is not partial to any citizen, but if a citizen is law-abiding he receives abundant opportunities from the state laws to live peacefully and fulfill his real interests.
bhurina rudhirena vai
bhrataram me gata-vyathah
tasya--of Him (the Supreme personality of Godhead); tyakta-svabhavasya--who has given up His natural position (of being equal to everyone); ghrneh--most abominable; maya--under the influence of the illusory energy; vana-okasah--behaving exactly like an animal in the jungle; bhajantam--unto the devotee engaged in devotional service; bhajamanasya--being worshiped; balasya--a child; iva--like; asthira-atmanah--who is always restless and changing; mat--my; sula--by the trident; bhinna--separated; grivasya--whose neck; bhurina--profuse; rudhirena--by blood; vai--indeed; asrk-priyam--who was fond of blood; tarpayisye--I shall please; bhrataram--brother; me--my; gata-vyathah--becoming peaceful myself.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead has given up His natural tendency of equality toward the demons and demigods. Although He is the Supreme Person, now, influenced by maya, He has assumed the form of a boar to please His devotees, the demigods, just as a restless child leans toward someone. I shall therefore sever Lord Visnu's head from His trunk by my trident, and with the profuse blood from His body I shall please my brother Hiranyaksa, who was so fond of sucking blood. Thus shall I too be peaceful.
The defect of the demoniac mentality is expressed in this verse very clearly. Hiranyakasipu thought that Visnu also becomes partial, like a child whose mind is not steady or resolute. The Lord can change His mind at any time, Hiranyakasipu thought, and therefore His words and activities are like those of children. Actually, because the demons are ordinary human beings, their minds change, and being materially conditioned, they think that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is conditioned also. As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (9.11), avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam: "Fools deride Me when I descend in a human form."
Demons always think that Visnu can be killed. Therefore, being absorbed in thoughts of Visnu's form to kill Him, at least they have the opportunity to think of Visnu unfavorably. Although they are not devotees, their thinking of Visnu is effective, and thus they generally attain sayujya-mukti. Because the demons consider the Supreme Lord an ordinary living being, they think that they can kill Lord Visnu as one might kill an ordinary person. Another fact disclosed herein is that demons are very much fond of sucking blood. Indeed, all of them are meat-eaters and bloodsuckers.
Hiranyakasipu accused the Supreme Lord of having a restless mind like that of a small child who can be induced to do anything if simply offered some cakes and laddus. Indirectly, this indicates the true position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who says in Bhagavad-gita (9.26):
patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." The Lord accepts the offerings of devotees because of their transcendental love. Because they are in love with the Supreme Lord, they do not eat anything without offering it first to the Lord. The Lord does not hanker for a small leaf or flower; He has enough to eat. Indeed, He is feeding all living entities. Nonetheless, because He is very merciful and is bhakta-vatsala, very favorable to the devotees, He certainly eats whatever they offer Him with love and devotion. This quality should not be misjudged to be childish. The highest quality of the Supreme Lord is that He is bhakta-vatsala; in other words, He is always extremely pleased with His devotees. As for the word maya, when used in reference to the dealings of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees, this word means "affection." The actions of the Lord to favor His devotees are not disqualifications but signs of His natural affection.
As for rudhira, or the blood of Lord Visnu, since there is no possibility of severing Lord Visnu's head from His body, there is no question of blood. But the garland that decorates Visnu's body is as red as blood. When the demons achieve sayujya-mukti and leave behind their sinful activities, they are blessed by Visnu's garland, which is red like blood. After attaining sayujya-mukti, the demons are sometimes promoted to the Vaikuntha world, where they receive the reward of the Lord's garland prasada.
tasmin kute 'hite naste
vitapa iva susyanti
tasmin--when He; kute--the most deceitful; ahite--enemy; naste--is finished; krtta-mule--having its roots cut off; vanas-patau--a tree; vitapah--the branches and leaves; iva--like; susyanti--dry up; visnu-pranah--whose life is Lord Visnu; diva-okasah--the demigods.
When the root of a tree is cut and the tree falls down, its branches and twigs automatically dry up. Similarly, when I have killed this diplomatic Visnu, the demigods, for whom Lord Visnu is the life and soul, will lose the source of their life and wither away.
The difference between the demigods and the demons is here explained. The demigods always follow the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas the demons simply plan to disturb or kill Him. Nevertheless, sometimes the demons very much appreciate the full dependence of the demigods upon the mercy of the Lord. This is indirect glorification of the demigods by the demons.
tavad yata bhuvam yuyam
tavat--as long as (I am engaged in the matter of killing Visnu); yata--go; bhuvam--to the planet earth; yuyam--all of you; brahma-ksatra--of the brahmanas and ksatriyas; samedhitam--made prosperous by the activities (brahminical culture and Vedic government); sudayadhvam--just destroy; tapah--the performers of austerities; yajna--sacrifices; svadhyaya--study of Vedic knowledge; vrata--the regulative vows; daninah--and those giving charity.
While I am engaged in the business of killing Lord Visnu, go down to the planet earth, which is flourishing due to brahminical culture and a ksatriya government. These people engage in austerity, sacrifice, Vedic study, regulative vows, and charity. Destroy all the people thus engaged!
Hiranyakasipu's main purpose was to disturb the demigods. He planned first to kill Lord Visnu so that with Lord Visnu's death the demigods would automatically weaken and die. Another of his plans was to disturb the residents of the planet earth. The peace and prosperity of the residents of earth, and all the other planets, were maintained by the brahmanas and ksatriyas. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (4.13), catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah: "According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me." On all the planets there are different types of residents, but the Lord recommends, referring especially to the planet earth, which is inhabited by human beings, that society be divided into four varnas--brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra. Before the advent of Lord Krsna on this earth, it is understood that the earth was managed by the brahmanas and ksatriyas. The duty of the brahmanas is to cultivate samah (peacefulness), damah (self-control), titiksa (tolerance), satyam (truthfulness), saucam (cleanliness) and arjavam (simplicity), and then to advise the ksatriya kings how to rule the country or planet. Following the instructions of the brahmanas, the ksatriyas should engage the populace in austerity, sacrifices, Vedic study and adherence to the rules and regulations established by Vedic principles. They should also arrange for charity to be given to the brahmanas, sannyasis and temples. This is the godly arrangement of brahminical culture.
People are inclined to offer yajna because unless sacrifices are offered there will be insufficient rain (yajnad bhavati parjanyah), which will hamper agricultural activities (parjanyad anna-sambhavah). By introducing brahminical culture, therefore, a ksatriya government should engage people in performing yajna, studying the Vedas and giving charity. Thus the people will receive their necessities for life very easily, and there will be no disturbances in society. In this regard, Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (3.12):
istan bhogan hi vo deva
tair dattan apradayaibhyo
yo bhunkte stena eva sah
"In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajna [sacrifice], supply all necessities to man. But he who enjoys these gifts, without offering them to the demigods in return, is certainly a thief."
The demigods are authorized supplying agents who act on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu. Therefore, they must be satisfied by the performance of prescribed yajnas. In the Vedas, there are different kinds of yajnas prescribed for different kinds of demigods, but all are ultimately offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For one who cannot understand what the Personality of Godhead is, sacrifice to the demigods is recommended. According to the different material qualities of the persons concerned, different types of yajnas are recommended in the Vedas. Worship of different demigods is also on the same basis--namely, according to different qualities. For example, the meat-eaters are recommended to worship the goddess Kali, the ghastly form of material nature, and before the goddess the sacrifice of animals is recommended. But for those in the mode of goodness, the transcendental worship of Visnu is recommended. Ultimately, all yajnas are meant for gradual promotion to the transcendental position. For ordinary men, at least five yajnas, known as panca-mahayajna, are necessary.
One should know, however, that all the necessities of life that human society requires are supplied by the demigod agents of the Lord. No one can manufacture anything. Consider, for example, all the eatables of human society. These eatables include grains, fruits, vegetables, milk and sugar for persons in the mode of goodness, and also eatables for the nonvegetarians, such as meats, none of which can be manufactured by men. Then again, take for example, heat, light, water and air, which are also necessities of life--none of them can be manufactured by human society. Without the Supreme Lord, there can be no profuse sunlight, moonlight, rainfall or breeze, without which no one can live. Obviously, our life is dependent on supplies from the Lord. Even for our manufacturing enterprises, we require so many raw materials like metal, sulphur, mercury, manganese and so many essentials--all of which are supplied by the agents of the Lord, with the purpose that we should make proper use of them to keep ourselves fit and healthy for the purpose of self-realization, leading to the ultimate goal of life, namely, liberation from the material struggle for existence. This aim of life is attained by performance of yajnas. If we forget the purpose of human life and simply take supplies from the agents of the Lord for sense gratification and become more and more entangled in material existence, which is not the purpose of creation, certainly we become thieves, and therefore we are punished by the laws of material nature. A society of thieves can never be happy, for they have no aim in life. The gross materialist thieves have no ultimate goal of life. They are simply directed to sense gratification; nor do they have knowledge of how to perform yajnas. Lord Caitanya, however, inaugurated the easiest performance of yajna, namely the sankirtana-yajna, which can be performed by anyone in the world who accepts the principles of Krsna consciousness.
Hiranyakasipu planned to kill the inhabitants of earth so that yajna would stop and the demigods, being disturbed, would die automatically when Lord Visnu, the yajnesvara, was killed. These were the demoniac plans of Hiranyakasipu, who was expert in such activities.
yajno dharmamayah puman
dharmasya ca parayanam
visnuh--Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; dvija--of the brahmanas and ksatriyas; kriya-mulah--whose root is the performance of yajna and the ritualistic ceremonies mentioned in the Vedas; yajnah--personified yajna (Lord Visnu, who is known as the yajna-purusa); dharma-mayah--full of religious principles; puman--the Supreme Person; deva-rsi--of the demigods and great rsis like Vyasadeva and Narada; pitr--of the forefathers; bhutanam--and of all other living entities; dharmasya--of the religious principles; ca--also; parayanam--the shelter.
The basic principle of brahminical culture is to satisfy Lord Visnu, the personification of sacrificial and ritualistic ceremonies. Lord Visnu is the personified reservoir of all religious principles, and He is the shelter of all the demigods, the great pitas, and the people in general. When the brahmanas are killed, no one will exist to encourage the ksatriyas to perform yajnas, and thus the demigods, not being appeased by yajna, will automatically die.
Since Visnu is the central point of brahminical culture, Hiranyakasipu's plan was to kill Visnu, for if Visnu were killed, naturally the brahminical culture would also be lost. With brahminical culture lost, yajna would no longer be performed, and for want of yajna the regular distribution of rainfall would cease (yajnad bhavati parjanyah). Thus there would be disturbances all over the world, and naturally the demigods would be defeated. From this verse we get a clear indication of how human society is disturbed when the Vedic Aryan civilization is killed and the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies performed by the brahmanas are stopped. Kalau sudra-sambhavah: because the population of the modern world consists mostly of sudras, the brahminical culture is now lost and is extremely difficult to reestablish in a proper way. Therefore Lord Caitanya has recommended the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, which will revive brahminical culture very easily.
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
Because of the increment in demoniac population, people have lost brahminical culture. Nor is there a ksatriya government. Instead, the government is a democracy in which any sudra can be voted into taking up the governmental reigns and capture the power to rule. Because of the poisonous effects of Kali-yuga, the sastra (Bhag. 12.2.13) says, dasyu-prayesu rajasu: the government will adopt the policies of dasyus, or plunderers. Thus there will be no instructions from the brahmanas, and even if there are brahminical instructions, there will be no ksatriya rulers who can follow them. Aside from Satya-yuga, even formerly, in the days when demons were flourishing, Hiranyakasipu planned to destroy the brahminical culture and the ksatriya government and thus create chaos all over the world. Although in Satya-yuga this plan was very difficult to execute, in Kali-yuga, which is full of sudras and demons, the brahminical culture is lost and can be revived only by the chanting of the maha-mantra. Therefore the Krsna consciousness movement, or the Hare Krsna movement, has been inaugurated to revive brahminical culture very easily so that people may become happy and peaceful in this life and prepare for elevation in the next. In this regard, Srila Madhvacarya quotes this verse from the Brahmanda Purana:
harir ity asuram matam
harir eva hi sarvasya
mulam samyan mato nrpa
"O King, the demons think that Hari, Lord Visnu, exists because of the brahmanas and yajna, but factually Hari is the cause of everything including the brahmanas and yajna." Therefore, through the popularizing of hari-kirtana, or the sankirtana movement, the brahminical culture and ksatriya government will automatically come back, and people will be extremely happy.
yatra yatra dvija gavo
tam tam janapadam yata
yatra yatra--wherever; dvijah--the brahmanas; gavah--the protected cows; vedah--the Vedic culture; varna-asrama--of the Aryan civilization of four varnas and four asramas; kriyah--the activities; tam tam--that; jana-padam--to the city or town; yata--go; sandipayata--set fire; vrscata--cut down (all the trees).
Immediately go wherever there is good protection for the cows and brahmanas and wherever the Vedas are studied in terms of the varnasrama principles. Set fire to those places and cut from the roots the trees there, which are the source of life.
The picture of a proper human civilization is indirectly described here. In a perfect human civilization there must be a class of men fully trained as perfect brahmanas. Similarly, there must be ksatriyas to rule the country very nicely according to the injunctions of the sastras, and there must be vaisyas who can protect the cows. The word gavah indicates that cows should be given protection. Because the Vedic civilization is lost, cows are not protected, but instead indiscriminately killed in slaughterhouses. Such are the acts of demons. Therefore this is a demoniac civilization. The varnasrama-dharma mentioned here is essential for human civilization. Unless there is a brahmana to guide, a ksatriya to rule perfectly, and a perfect vaisya to produce food and protect the cows, how will people live peacefully? It is impossible.
Another point is that trees also should be given protection. During its lifetime, a tree should not be cut for industrial enterprises. In Kali-yuga, trees are indiscriminately and unnecessarily cut for industry, in particular for paper mills that manufacture a profuse quantity of paper for the publication of demoniac propaganda, nonsensical literature, huge quantities of newspapers and many other paper products. This is a sign of a demoniac civilization. The cutting of trees is prohibited unless necessary for the service of Lord Visnu. Yajnarthat karmano'nyatra loko'yam karma-bandhanah: "work done as a sacrifice for Lord Visnu must be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world." But if the paper mills stop producing paper, one may argue, how can our ISKCON literature be published? The answer is that the paper mills should manufacture paper only for the publication of ISKCON literature because ISKCON literature is published for the service of Lord Visnu. This literature clarifies our relationship with Lord Visnu, and therefore the publication of ISKCON literature is the performance of yajna. Yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah. Yajna must be performed, as indicated by the superior authorities. The cutting of trees simply to manufacture paper for the publication of unwanted literature is the greatest sinful act.
iti te bhartr-nirdesam
tatha prajanam kadanam
iti--thus; te--they; bhartr--of the master; nirdesam--the direction; adaya--receiving; sirasa--with their heads; adrtah--respecting; tatha--so also; prajanam--of all the citizens; kadanam--persecution; vidadhuh--executed; kadana-priyah--who are expert in persecuting others.
Thus the demons, being fond of disastrous activities, took Hiranyakasipu's instructions on their heads with great respect and offered him obeisances. According to his directions, they engaged in envious activities directed against all living beings.
The followers of demoniac principles, as described here, are thoroughly envious of the general populace. In the present day, scientific advancement exemplifies such envy. The discovery of nuclear energy has been disastrous to people in general because demons all over the world are manufacturing nuclear weapons. The word kadana-priyah is very significant in this regard. The demoniac persons who want to kill the Vedic culture are extremely envious of the feeble citizens, and they act in such a way that ultimately their discoveries will be inauspicious for everyone (jagato 'hitah). The Sixteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita fully explains how the demons engage in sinful activities for the destruction of the populace.
dadahuh pattanani ca
pura--cities and towns; grama--villages; vraja--pasturing grounds; udyana--gardens; ksetra--agricultural fields; arama--natural forests; asrama--hermitages of saintly persons; akaran--and mines (that produce valuable metals to maintain brahminical culture); kheta--farm villages; kharvata--mountain villages; ghosan--the little villages of cowherds; ca--and; dadahuh--they burned; pattanani--the capitals; ca--also.
The demons set fire to the cities, villages, pasturing grounds, cowpens, gardens, agricultural fields and natural forests. They burned the hermitages of the saintly persons, the important mines that produced valuable metals, the residential quarters of the agriculturalists, the mountain villages, and the villages of the cow protectors, the cowherd men. They also burned the government capitals.
The word udyana refers to places where trees are especially grown to produce fruits and flowers, which are most important for human civilization. Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (9.26):
patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." Fruits and flowers are very much pleasing to the Lord. If one wants to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can simply offer fruits and flowers, and the Lord will be pleased to accept them. Our only duty is to please the Supreme Godhead (samsiddhir hari-tosanam). Whatever we do and whatever our occupation, our main purpose should be to please the Supreme Lord. All the paraphernalia mentioned in this verse is especially meant for the satisfaction of the Lord, not the satisfaction of one's senses. The government--indeed, the entire society--should be structured in such a way that everyone can be trained to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But unfortunately, especially in this age, na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum: people do not know that the highest goal of human life is to please Lord Visnu. On the contrary, like demons, they simply plan to kill Visnu and be happy by sense gratification.
kecit khanitrair bibhiduh
ajivyams cicchidur vrksan
pradahan saranany eke
kecit--some of the demons; khanitraih--with digging instruments; bibhiduh--broke to pieces; setu--bridges; prakara--protective walls; gopuran--city gates; ajivyan--the source of livelihood; cicchiduh--cut down; vrksan--trees; kecit--some; parasu-panayah--taking axes in hand; pradahan--burned down; saranani--the dwellings; eke--other demons; prajanam--of the citizens; jvalita--blazing; ulmukaih--with firebrands.
Some of the demons took digging instruments and broke down the bridges, the protective walls and the gates [gopuras] of the cities. Some took axes and began cutting the important trees that produced mango, jackfruit and other sources of food. Some of the demons took firebrands and set fire to the residential quarters of the citizens.
The cutting of trees is generally prohibited. In particular, trees that produce nice fruit for the maintenance of human society should not be cut. In different countries there are different types of fruit trees. In India the mango and jackfruit trees are prominent, and in other places there are mango trees, jackfruit trees, coconut trees and berry trees. Any tree that produces nice fruit for the maintenance of the people should not be cut at all. This is a sastric injunction.
evam viprakrte loke
divam devah parityajya
bhuvi cerur alaksitah
evam--thus; viprakrte--being disturbed; loke--when all the people; daitya-indra-anucaraih--by the followers of Hiranyakasipu, the King of the Daityas; muhuh--again and again; divam--the heavenly planets; devah--the demigods; parityajya--giving up; bhuvi--on the planet earth; ceruh--wandered (to see the extent of the disturbances); alaksitah--unseen by the demons.
Thus disturbed again and again by the unnatural occurrences caused by the followers of Hiranyakasipu, all the people had to cease the activities of Vedic culture. Not receiving the results of yajna, the demigods also became disturbed. They left their residential quarters in the heavenly planets and, unobserved by the demons, began wandering on the planet earth to see the disasters.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita, the performance of yajna brings reciprocal good fortune for both the human beings and the demigods. When the performances of yajna were stopped by the disturbances of the demons, the demigods were naturally bereft of the results of yajna and hampered in executing their respective duties. Therefore they came down to the planet earth to see how people had become disturbed and to consider what to do.
hiranyakasipuh--Hiranyakasipu; bhratuh--of the brother; samparetasya--deceased; duhkhitah--being very much distressed; krtva--performing; katodaka-adini--ceremonies observed after a death; bhratr-putran--the sons of his brother; asantvayat--pacified.
After performing the ritualistic observances for the death of his brother, Hiranyakasipu, being extremely unhappy, tried to pacify his nephews.
sakunim sambaram dhrstim
ditim ca jananim gira
idam aha janesvara
sakunim--Sakuni; sambaram--Sambara; dhrstim--Dhrsti; bhutasantapanam--Bhutasantapana; vrkam--Vrka; kalanabham--Kalanabha; mahanabham--Mahanabha; harismasrum--Harismasru; atha--as well as; utkacam--Utkaca; tat-mataram--their mother; rusabhanum--Rusabhanu; ditim--Diti; ca--and; jananim--his own mother; gira--by words; slaksnaya--very sweet; desa-kala-jnah--who was expert in understanding the time and situation; idam--this; aha--said; jana-isvara--O King.
O King, Hiranyakasipu was extremely angry, but since he was a great politician, he knew how to act according to the time and situation. With sweet words he began pacifying his nephews, whose names were Sakuni, Sambara, Dhrsti, Bhutasantapana, Vrka, Kalanabha, Mahanabha, Harismasru and Utkaca. He also consoled their mother, his sister-in-law, Rusabhanu, as well as his own mother, Diti. He spoke to them all as follows.
ambamba he vadhuh putra
viram marhatha socitum
ripor abhimukhe slaghyah
suranam vadha ipsitah
sri-hiranyakasipuh uvaca--Hiranyakasipu said; amba amba--my mother, my mother; he--O; vadhuh--my sister-in-law; putrah--O sons of my brother; viram--the hero; ma--not; arhatha--you deserve; socitum--to lament about; ripoh--of the enemy; abhimukhe--in front; slaghyah--glorious; suranam--of those who are actually great; vadhah--killing; ipsitah--desired.
Hiranyakasipu said: My dear mother, sister-in-law and nephews, you should not lament for the death of the great hero, for a hero's death in front of his enemy is glorious and desirable.
bhutanam iha samvasah
prapayam iva suvrate
bhutanam--of all living entities; iha--in this material world; samvasah--the living together; prapayam--in a place for drinking cold water; iva--like; su-vrate--O my gentle mother; daivena--by the superior arrangement; ekatra--in one place; nitanam--of those brought; unnitanam--of those led apart; sva-karmabhih--by their own reactions.
My dear mother, in a restaurant or place for drinking cold water, many travelers are brought together, and after drinking water they continue to their respective destinations. Similarly, living entities join together in a family, and later, as a result of their own actions, they are led apart to their destinations.
gunaih karmani sarvasah
kartaham iti manyate
"The bewildered soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature." (Bg. 3.27) All living entities act exactly according to the directions of prakrti, material nature, because in the material world we are fully under a higher control. All the living entities in this material world have come here only because they wanted to be equal to Krsna in enjoyment and have thus been sent here to be conditioned by material nature in different degrees. In the material world a so-called family is a combination of several persons in one home to fulfill the terms of their imprisonment. As criminal prisoners scatter as soon as their terms are over and they are released, all of us who have temporarily assembled as family members will continue to our respective destinations. Another example given is that family members are like straws carried together by the waves of a river. Sometimes such straws mix together in whirlpools, and later, dispersed again by the same waves, they float alone in the water.
Although Hiranyakasipu was a demon, he had Vedic knowledge and understanding. Thus the advice given to his family members--his sister-in-law, mother and nephews--was quite sound. The demons are considered highly elevated in knowledge, but because they do not use their good intelligence for the service of the Lord, they are called demons. The demigods, however, act very intelligently to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.13) as follows:
atah pumbhir dvija-srestha
"O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve, by discharging his prescribed duties [dharma] according to caste divisions and orders of life, is to please the Lord Hari." To become a demigod or to become godly, whatever one's occupation, one must satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
nitya atmavyayah suddhah
sarvagah sarva-vit parah
dhatte 'sav atmano lingam
mayaya visrjan gunan
nityah--eternal; atma--spirit soul; avyayah--inexhaustible; suddhah--with no material tinge; sarva-gah--qualified to go anywhere in the material or spiritual worlds; sarva-vit--full of knowledge; parah--transcendental to material conditions; dhatte--accepts; asau--that atma, or living being; atmanah--of the self; lingam--a body; mayaya--by the material energy; visrjan--creating; gunan--various material qualities.
The spirit soul, the living entity, has no death, for he is eternal and inexhaustible. Being free from material contamination, he can go anywhere in the material or spiritual worlds. He is fully aware and completely different from the material body, but because of being misled by misuse of his slight independence, he is obliged to accept subtle and gross bodies created by the material energy and thus be subjected to so-called material happiness and distress. Therefore, no one should lament for the passing of the spirit soul from the body.
Hiranyakasipu very intelligently described the position of the soul. The soul is never the body, but is always completely different from the body. Being eternal and inexhaustible, the soul has no death, but when the same pure soul desires to enjoy the material world independently, he is placed under the conditions of material nature and must therefore accept a certain type of body and suffer the pains and pleasures thereof. This is also described by Krsna in Bhagavad-gita (13.22). Karanam guna-sango 'sya sad-asad-yoni janmasu: the living entity is born in different families or species of life because of being infected by the modes of material nature. When conditioned by material nature, the living entity must accept a certain type of body, which is offered by nature under the direction of the Supreme Lord.
hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
"The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy." (Bg. 18.61) The body is just like a machine, and according to the living entity's karma, he is offered a particular type of machine to move here and there under the control of material nature. This continues until he surrenders to the Supreme Personality of Godhead (mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te). Until he surrenders, the conditioned soul is carried from life to life by the arrangement of material nature.
taravo 'pi cala iva
drsyate calativa bhuh
yatha--just as; ambhasa--by water; pracalata--moving; taravah--the trees (on the bank of the river); api--also; calah--moving; iva--as if; caksusa--by the eye; bhramyamanena--moving; drsyate--is seen; calati--moving; iva--as if; bhuh--the ground.
Because of the movements of the water, the trees on the bank of a river, when reflected on the water, seem to move. Similarly, when the eyes move because of some mental derangement, the land appears to move also.
Sometimes, because of mental derangement, the land appears to be moving. A drunkard, for example, or a person with heart disease, sometimes feels that the land is moving. Similarly, the reflections of trees in a flowing river also appear to move. These are the actions of maya. Actually the living entity does not move (sthanur acalo 'yam). The living entity does not take birth or accept death, but because of the transient subtle and gross bodies, the living entity appears to move from one place to another or be dead and gone forever. As the great Bengali Vaisnava poet, Jagadananda Pandita, has said:
pisaci paile yena mati-cchanna haya
maya-grasta jivera haya se bhava udaya
According to this statement from the Prema-vivarta, when a living entity is conditioned by material nature, he is exactly like a person haunted by a ghost. One should therefore understand the fixed position of the spirit soul and how he is carried away by the waves of material nature to different bodies and different situations under lamentation and hankering. One achieves the success of life when he understands the constitutional position of his self and is undisturbed by the conditions created by material nature (prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah).
evam gunair bhramyamane
manasy avikalah puman
yati tat-samyatam bhadre
hy alingo lingavan iva
evam--in this way; gunaih--by the modes of material nature; bhramyamane--when shaken; manasi--the mind; avikalah--changeless; puman--the living entity; yati--approaches; tat-samyatam--the same condition of agitation as the mind; bhadre--O my gentle mother; hi--indeed; alingah--without a subtle or gross body; linga-van--possessing a material body; iva--as if.
In the same way, O my gentle mother, when the mind is agitated by the movements of the modes of material nature, the living entity, although freed from all the different phases of the subtle and gross bodies, thinks that he has changed from one condition to another.
As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.84.13):
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma-ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah
"A human being who identifies the body made of three elements as the self, who considers the by-products of the body to be his kinsmen, who considers the land of his birth worshipable, and who goes to a place of pilgrimage simply to bathe rather than to meet men of transcendental knowledge there, is to be considered like a cow or an ass." Although Hiranyakasipu was a great demon, he was not as foolish as the population of the modern world. Hiranyakasipu had clear knowledge of the spirit soul and the subtle and gross bodies, but now we are so degraded that everyone, including the exalted scientists, philosophers and other leaders, is under the bodily conception of life, which is condemned in the sastras. Sa eva go-kharah: such persons are nothing but cows and asses.
Hiranyakasipu advised his family members that although the gross body of his brother Hiranyaksa was dead and they were aggrieved because of this, they should not lament for the great soul of Hiranyaksa, who had already attained his next destination. Atma, the spirit soul, is always unchanged (avikalah puman). We are spirit souls, but when carried away by mental activities (manodharma), we suffer from so-called material conditions of life. This generally happens to nondevotees. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah: nondevotees may possess exalted material qualities, but because they are foolish they have no good qualifications. The designations of the conditioned soul in the material world are decorations of the dead body. The conditioned soul has no information of the spirit and its exalted existence beyond the effects of the material condition.
hy alinge linga-bhavana
esa priyapriyair yogo
sambhavas ca vinasas ca
sokas ca vividhah smrtah
avivekas ca cinta ca
vivekasmrtir eva ca
esah--this; atma-viparyasah--bewilderment of the living being; hi--indeed; alinge--in that which does not possess a material body; linga-bhavana--accepting the material body to be the self; esah--this; priya--with those who are very dear; apriyaih--and with those who are not dear (enemies, those not in the family, etc.); yogah--connection; viyogah--separation; karma--the fruits of action; samsrtih--the material condition of life; sambhavah--accepting birth; ca--and; vinasah--accepting death; ca--and; sokah--lamentation; ca--and; vividhah--varieties; smrtah--mentioned in scripture; avivekah--lack of discrimination; ca--and; cinta--anxiety; ca--also; viveka--of proper discrimination; asmrtih--forgetfulness; eva--indeed; ca--also.
In his bewildered state, the living entity, accepting the body and mind to be the self, considers some people to be his kinsmen and others to be outsiders. Because of this misconception, he suffers. Indeed, the accumulation of such concocted material ideas is the cause of suffering and so-called happiness in the material world. The conditioned soul thus situated must take birth in different species and work in various types of consciousness, thus creating new bodies. This continued material life is called samsara. Birth, death, lamentation, foolishness and anxiety are due to such material considerations. Thus we sometimes come to a proper understanding and sometimes fall again to a wrong conception of life.
samvadam tam nibodhata
atra--in this connection; api--indeed; udaharanti--they cite; imam--this; itihasam--history; puratanam--very old; yamasya--of Yamaraja, the superintendent of death, who gives judgment after death; preta-bandhunam--of the friends of a dead man; samvadam--discussion; tam--that; nibodhata--try to understand.
In this regard, an example is given from an old history. This involves a discourse between Yamaraja and the friends of a dead person. Please hear it attentively.
The words itihasam puratanam mean "an old history." The Puranas are not chronologically recorded, but the incidents mentioned in the Puranas are actual histories of bygone ages. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the Maha-purana, the essence of all the Puranas. The Mayavadi scholars do not accept the Puranas, but Srila Madhvacarya and all other authorities accept them as the authoritative histories of the world.
usinaresv abhud raja
suyajna iti visrutah
sapatnair nihato yuddhe
jnatayas tam upasata
usinaresu--in the state known as Usinara; abhut--there was; raja--a king; suyajnah--Suyajna; iti--thus; visrutah--celebrated; sapatnaih--by enemies; nihatah--killed; yuddhe--in war; jnatayah--the kinsmen; tam--him; upasata--sat around.
In the state known as Usinara there was a celebrated King named Suyajna. When the King was killed in battle by his enemies, his kinsmen sat down around the dead body and began to lament the death of their friend.
usinarendram vidhina tatha krtam
patim mahisyah prasamiksya duhkhitah
hatah sma natheti karair uro bhrsam
ghnantyo muhus tat-padayor upapatan
visirna--scattered here and there; ratna--made of jewels; kavacam--protective armor; vibhrasta--fallen off; abharana--ornaments; srajam--garlands; sara-nirbhinna--pierced by arrows; hrdayam--the heart; sayanam--lying down; asrk-avilam--smeared with blood; prakirna-kesam--his hair loosened and scattered; dhvasta-aksam--his eyes obscured; rabhasa--with anger; dasta--bitten; dacchadam--his lips; rajah-kuntha--covered with dust; mukha-ambhojam--his face, which had formerly resembled a lotus flower; chinna--cut off; ayudha-bhujam--his arms and weapons; mrdhe--on the battlefield; usinara-indram--the master of the state of Usinara; vidhina--by providence; tatha--thus; krtam--forced into this position; patim--the husband; mahisyah--the queens; prasamiksya--seeing; duhkhitah--very much aggrieved; hatah--killed; sma--certainly; natha--O husband; iti--thus; karaih--with the hands; urah--the breast; bhrsam--constantly; ghnantyah--pounding; muhuh--again and again; tat-padayoh--at the feet of the King; upapatan--fell down.
His golden, bejeweled armor smashed, his ornaments and garlands fallen from their places, his hair scattered and his eyes lusterless, the slain King lay on the battlefield, his entire body smeared with blood, his heart pierced by the arrows of the enemy. When he died he had wanted to show his prowess, and thus he had bitten his lips, and his teeth remained in that position. His beautiful lotuslike face was now black and covered with dust from the battlefield. His arms, with his sword and other weapons, were cut and broken. When the queens of the King of Usinara saw their husband lying in that position, they began crying, "O lord, now that you have been killed, we also have been killed." Repeating these words again and again, they fell down, pounding their breasts, at the feet of the dead King.
As stated here, rabhasa dasta-dacchadam: the dead King, while fighting in anger, bit his lips to show his prowess, but nonetheless he was killed by providence (vidhina). This proves that we are controlled by higher authorities; our personal power or endeavor is not always supreme. We must therefore accept the position offered to us by the order of the Supreme.
rudatya uccair dayitanghri-pankajam
sincantya asraih kuca-kunkumarunaih
visrasta-kesabharanah sucam nrnam
srjantya akrandanaya vilepire
rudatyah--crying; uccaih--very loudly; dayita--of their beloved husband; anghri-pankajam--the lotus feet; sincantyah--moistening; asraih--with tears; kuca-kunkuma-arunaih--which were red from the kunkuma covering their breasts; visrasta--scattered; kesa--hair; abharanah--and ornaments; sucam--grief; nrnam--of the people in general; srjantyah--creating; akrandanaya--by crying very pitiably; vilepire--began to lament.
As the queens loudly cried, their tears glided down their breasts, becoming reddened by kunkuma powder, and fell upon the lotus feet of their husband. Their hair became disarrayed, their ornaments fell, and in a way that evoked sympathy from the hearts of others, the queens began lamenting their husband's death.
aho vidhatrakarunena nah prabho
bhavan pranito drg-agocaram dasam
usinaranam asi vrttidah pura
krto 'dhuna yena sucam vivardhanah
aho--alas; vidhatra--by providence; akarunena--who is merciless; nah--our; prabho--O lord; bhavan--Your Lordship; pranitah--taken away; drk--of sight; agocaram--beyond the range; dasam--to a state; usinaranam--to the inhabitants of the state of Usinara; asi--you were; vrtti-dah--giving livelihood; pura--formerly; krtah--finished; adhuna--now; yena--by whom; sucam--of lamentation; vivardhanah--increasing.
O lord, you have now been removed by cruel providence to a state beyond our sight. You had previously sustained the livelihood of the inhabitants of Usinara, and thus they were happy, but your condition now is the cause of their unhappiness.
tvaya krtajnena vayam mahi-pate
katham vina syama suhrttamena te
tatranuyanam tava vira padayoh
susrusatinam disa yatra yasyasi
tvaya--you; krtajnena--a most grateful personality; vayam--we; mahi-pate--O King; katham--how; vina--without; syama--shall exist; suhrt-tamena--the best of our friends; te--of you; tatra--there; anuyanam--the following; tava--of you; vira--O hero; padayoh--of the lotus feet; susrusatinam--of those engaging in the service; disa--please order; yatra--where; yasyasi--you will go.
O King, O hero, you were a very grateful husband and the most sincere friend of all of us. How shall we exist without you? O hero, wherever you are going, please direct us there so that we may follow in your footsteps and engage again in your service. Let us go along with you!
Formerly, a ksatriya king was generally the husband of many wives, and after the death of the king, especially in the battlefield, all the queens would agree to accept saha-marana, dying with the husband who was their life. When Pandu Maharaja, the father of the Pandavas, died, his two wives--namely, the mother of Yudhisthira, Bhima and Arjuna and the mother of Nakula and Sahadeva--were both ready to die in the fire with their husband. Later, after a compromise was arranged, Kunti stayed alive to care for the little children, and the other wife, Madri, was allowed to die with her husband. This system of saha-marana continued in India even until the time of British rule, but later it was discouraged, since the attitude of wives gradually changed with the advancement of Kali-yuga. Thus the system of saha-marana has practically been abolished. Nevertheless, within the past fifty years I have seen the wife of a medical practitioner voluntarily accept death immediately when her husband died. Both the husband and wife were taken in procession in the mourning cart. Such intense love of a chaste wife for her husband is a special case.
evam vilapatinam vai
parigrhya mrtam patim
arko 'stam sannyavartata
evam--thus; vilapatinam--of the lamenting queens; vai--indeed; parigrhya--taking on their laps; mrtam--the dead; patim--husband; anicchatinam--not desiring; nirharam--the carrying out of the body for the funeral ceremony; arkah--the sun; astam--the setting position; sannyavartata--passed away.
The time was appropriate for the body to be burned, but the queens, not allowing it to be taken away, continued lamenting for the dead body, which they kept on their laps. In the meantime, the sun completed its movements for setting in the west.
According to the Vedic system, if a person dies during the daytime it is customary for his funeral ceremony to be performed before the sun sets, regardless of whether he is burned or buried, and if he dies at night the funeral must be completed before the next sunrise. Apparently the queens continued lamenting for the dead body, the lump of matter, and would not allow it to be taken away for burning. This illustrates the strong grip of illusion among foolish persons who consider the body the self. Women are generally considered less intelligent. Because of ignorance only, the queens thought of the dead body as their husband and somehow or other thought that if the body were kept their husband would remain with them. Such a conception of the self is certainly for go-khara--cows and asses. We have actually seen that sometimes when a cow's calf has died the milkman cheats the cow by presenting before her the dead body of her calf. Thus the cow, who would not otherwise allow milking, licks the dead body of the calf and allows herself to be milked. This substantiates the description of the sastra that a foolish man in the bodily concept of life is like a cow. Not only do foolish men and women consider the body the self, but we have even seen that the dead body of a so-called yogi was kept for days by his disciples, who thought that their guru was in samadhi. When decomposition began and a bad smell unfortunately began to overwhelm the yogic power, the disciples allowed the dead body of the so-called yogi to be burned. Thus the bodily concept of life is extremely strong among foolish persons, who are compared to cows and asses. Nowadays, great scientists are trying to freeze dead bodies so that in the future these frozen bodies may again be brought to life. The incident narrated by Hiranyakasipu from history must have taken place millions of years ago because Hiranyakasipu lived millions of years ago and was even then quoting from history. Thus the incident occurred before Hiranyakasipu's lifetime, but the same ignorance in the bodily concept of life is still prevalent, not only among laymen but even among scientists who think they will be able to revive frozen corpses.
Apparently the queens did not want to deliver the dead body for burning because they were afraid of dying with the dead body of their husband.
tatra ha preta-bandhunam
aha tan balako bhutva
yamah svayam upagatah
tatra--there; ha--certainly; preta-bandhunam--of the friends and relatives of the dead King; asrutya--hearing; paridevitam--the loud lamentation (so loud that it could be heard from the planet of Yamaraja); aha--said; tan--unto them (the lamenting queens); balakah--a boy; bhutva--becoming; yamah--Yamaraja, the superintendent of death; svayam--personally; upagatah--after coming.
While the queens were lamenting for the dead body of the King, their loud cries were heard even from the abode of Yamaraja. Assuming the body of a boy, Yamaraja personally approached the relatives of the dead body and advised them as follows.
Sometimes the living entity is forced to give up his body and enter another one according to the judgment of Yamaraja. It is difficult, however, for the conditioned soul to enter another body unless the present dead body is annihilated through cremation or some other means. The living being has attachment for the present body and does not want to enter another, and thus in the interim he remains a ghost. If a living being who has already left his body has been pious, Yamaraja, just to give him relief, will give him another body. Since the living being in the body of the King had some attachment to his body, he was hovering as a ghost, and therefore Yamaraja, as a special consideration, approached the lamenting relatives to instruct them personally. Yamaraja approached them as a child because a child is not restricted but is granted admittance anywhere, even to the palace of a king. Besides this, the child was speaking philosophy. People are very much interested in hearing philosophy when it is spoken by a child.
aho amisam vayasadhikanam
vipasyatam loka-vidhim vimohah
yatragatas tatra gatam manusyam
svayam sadharma api socanty apartham
sri-yamah uvaca--Sri Yamaraja said; aho--alas; amisam--of these; vayasa--by age; adhikanam--of those advanced; vipasyatam--seeing every day; loka-vidhim--the law of nature (that everyone dies); vimohah--the bewilderment; yatra--from where; agatah--came; tatra--there; gatam--returned; manusyam--the man; svayam--themselves; sa-dharmah--similar in nature (prone to die); api--although; socanti--they lament; apartham--uselessly.
Sri Yamaraja said: Alas, how amazing it is! These persons, who are older than me, have full experience that hundreds and thousands of living entities have taken birth and died. Thus they should understand that they also are apt to die, yet still they are bewildered. The conditioned soul comes from an unknown place and returns after death to that same unknown place. There is no exception to this rule, which is conducted by material nature. Knowing this, why do they uselessly lament?
The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (2.28):
tatra ka paridevana
"All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when they are annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation?"
Accepting that there are two classes of philosophers, one believing in the existence of the soul and the other not believing in its existence, there is no cause for lamentation in either case. Nonbelievers in the existence of the soul are called atheists by followers of Vedic wisdom. Yet even if for argument's sake we accept the atheistic theory, there is still no cause for lamentation. Apart from the separate existence of the soul, the material elements remain unmanifested before creation. From this subtle state of unmanifestation comes manifestation, just as from ether, air is generated; from air, fire is generated; from fire, water is generated; and from water, earth becomes manifested. From the earth, many varieties of manifestations take place. For example, a big skyscraper is manifested from the earth. When it is dismantled, the manifestation becomes again unmanifested and remains as atoms in the ultimate stage. The law of conservation of energy remains, but in the course of time things are manifested and unmanifested--that is the difference. Then what cause is there for lamentation, in either manifestation or unmanifestation? Somehow or other, even in the unmanifested stage, things are not lost. Both at the beginning and at the end, all elements remain unmanifested, and this does not make any real material difference.
If we accept the Vedic conclusion as stated in the Bhagavad-gita (antavanta ime dehah) that these material bodies are perishable in due course of time (nityasyoktah saririnah) but that the soul is eternal, then we must remember always that the body is like a dress; therefore why lament the changing of a dress? The material body has no factual existence in relation to the eternal soul. It is something like a dream. In a dream we may think of flying in the sky or sitting on a chariot as a king, but when we wake up we can see that we are neither in the sky nor seated on the chariot. The Vedic wisdom encourages self-realization on the basis of the nonexistence of the material body. Therefore, in either case, whether one believes in the existence of the soul or one does not believe in the existence of the soul, there is no cause for lamentation for loss of the body.
In the Mahabharata it is said, adarsanad ihayatah punas cadarsanam gatah. This statement could support the theory of the atheistic scientist that the child in the womb of the mother has no life but is simply a lump of matter. To follow this theory, if the lump of matter is aborted by a surgical operation, no life is killed; the body of a child is like a tumor, and if a tumor is operated upon and thrown away, no sin is involved. The same argument could be put forward in regard to the King and his queens. The body of the King was manifested from an unmanifested source, and again it became unmanifested from manifestation. Since the manifestation exists only in the middle--between the two points of unmanifestation--why should one cry for the body manifested in the interim?
aho vayam dhanyatama yad atra
tyaktah pitrbhyam na vicintayamah
abhaksyamana abala vrkadibhih
sa raksita raksati yo hi garbhe
aho--alas; vayam--we; dhanya-tamah--most fortunate; yat--because; atra--at the present moment; tyaktah--left alone, without protection; pitrbhyam--by both father and mother; na--not; vicintayamah--worry; abhaksyamanah--not being eaten; abalah--very weak; vrka-adibhih--by tigers and other ferocious animals; sah--He (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); raksita--will protect; raksati--has protected; yah--who; hi--indeed; garbhe--within the womb.
It is wonderful that these elderly women do not have a higher sense of life than we do. Indeed, we are most fortunate, for although we are children and have been left to struggle in material life, unprotected by father and mother, and although we are very weak, we have not been vanquished or eaten by ferocious animals. Thus we have a firm belief that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has given us protection even in the womb of the mother, will protect us everywhere.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (18.61), isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati: the Lord is present in the core of everyone's heart. Thus the Lord gives protection to everyone and gives the different types of bodies the living entity wants to enjoy. Everything is done by the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore one should not lament the birth and death of a living being, which have been arranged by the Supreme Lord. Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (15.15), sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca: "I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness." One must act according to the direction of the Lord within the heart, but because the conditioned soul wants to act independently, the Lord gives him the facility to act and experience the reactions. The Lord says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: "Give up all other duties and simply surrender unto Me." One who does not abide by the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is given the facility to enjoy this material world. Instead of restricting him, the Lord gives the conditioned soul the opportunity to enjoy so that by mature experience, after many, many births (bahunam janmanam ante), he will understand that surrender to the lotus feet of Vasudeva is the only duty of all living beings.
ya icchayesah srjatidam avyayo
ya eva raksaty avalumpate ca yah
tasyabalah kridanam ahur isitus
caracaram nigraha-sangrahe prabhuh
yah--who; icchaya--by His will (without being forced by anyone); isah--the supreme controller; srjati--creates; idam--this (material world); avyayah--remaining as He is (not having lost His own existence because of having created so many material manifestations); yah--who; eva--indeed; raksati--maintains; avalumpate--annihilates; ca--also; yah--who; tasya--of Him; abalah--O poor women; kridanam--the playing; ahuh--they say; isituh--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; cara-acaram--moving and not moving; nigraha--in destruction; sangrahe--or in protection; prabhuh--fully able.
The boy addressed the women: O weak women! Only by the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is never diminished, is the entire world created, maintained and again annihilated. This is the verdict of the Vedic knowledge. This material creation, consisting of the moving and nonmoving, is exactly like His plaything. Being the Supreme Lord, He is completely competent to destroy and protect.
In this regard the queens might argue, "If our husband was protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead when in the womb, why has he not been given protection now?" To this question the answer is, ya icchayesah srjatidam avyayo ya eva raksaty avalumpate ca yah. One cannot argue with the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord is always free, and therefore He can protect and can also annihilate. He is not our order carrier; whatever He likes He will do. Therefore He is the Supreme Lord. The Lord does not create this material world at anyone's request, and therefore He can annihilate everything merely by His will. That is His supremacy. If one argues, "Why does He act in this way?" the answer is that He can do so because He is supreme. No one can question His activities. If one argues, "What is the purpose of this sinful creation and annihilation?" the answer is that to prove His omnipotence He can do anything, and no one can question Him. If He were answerable to us concerning why He does something and why He does not, His supremacy would be curtailed.
pathi cyutam tisthati dista-raksitam
grhe sthitam tad-vihatam vinasyati
jivaty anatho 'pi tad-iksito vane
grhe 'bhigupto 'sya hato na jivati
pathi--on the public road; cyutam--some possession dropped; tisthati--it remains; dista-raksitam--protected by destiny; grhe--at home; sthitam--although situated; tat-vihatam--struck by the will of the Supreme; vinasyati--it is lost; jivati--remains alive; anathah api--although without a protector; tat-iksitah--being protected by the Lord; vane--in the forest; grhe--at home; abhiguptah--well hidden and protected; asya--of this one; hatah--struck; na--not; jivati--lives.
Sometimes one loses his money on a public street, where everyone can see it, and yet his money is protected by destiny and not seen by others. Thus the man who lost it gets it back. On the other hand, if the Lord does not give protection, even money maintained very securely at home is lost. If the Supreme Lord gives one protection, even though one has no protector and is in the jungle, one remains alive, whereas a person well protected at home by relatives and others sometimes dies, no one being able to protect him.
These are examples of the supremacy of the Lord. Our plans to protect or annihilate do not act, but whatever He thinks of doing actually happens. The examples given in this regard are practical. Everyone has had such practical experiences, and there are also many other clear examples. For instance, Prahlada Maharaja said that a child is certainly dependent on his father and mother, but in spite of their presence, the child is harassed in many ways. Sometimes, in spite of a supply of good medicine and an experienced physician, a patient does not survive. Therefore, since everything is dependent on the free will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, our only duty is to surrender unto Him and seek His protection.
bhutani tais tair nija-yoni-karmabhir
bhavanti kale na bhavanti sarvasah
na tatra hatma prakrtav api sthitas
tasya gunair anyatamo hi badhyate
bhutani--all the bodies of the living entities; taih taih--their own respective; nija-yoni--causing their own bodies; karmabhih--by past activities; bhavanti--appear; kale--in due course of time; na bhavanti--disappear; sarvasah--in all respects; na--not; tatra--there; ha--indeed; atma--the soul; prakrtau--within this material world; api--although; sthitah--situated; tasyah--of her (the material energy); gunaih--by different modes; anya-tamah--most different; hi--indeed; badhyate--is bound.
Every conditioned soul receives a different type of body according to his work, and when the engagement is finished the body is finished. Although the spirit soul is situated in subtle and gross material bodies in different forms of life, he is not bound by them, for he is always understood to be completely different from the manifested body.
Here it is very plainly explained that God is not responsible for the living entity's accepting different types of bodies. One has to accept a body according to the laws of nature and one's own karma. Therefore the Vedic injunction is that a person engaged in material activities should be given directions by which he can intelligently apply his activities to the service of the Lord to become free from the material bondage of repeated birth and death (sva-karmana tam abhyarcya siddhim vindati manavah). The Lord is always ready to give directions. Indeed, His directions are elaborately given in Bhagavad-gita. If we take advantage of these directions, then in spite of our being conditioned by the laws of material nature, we shall become free to attain our original constitution (mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te). We should have firm faith that the Lord is supreme and that if we surrender to Him, He will take charge of us and indicate how we can get out of material life and return home, back to Godhead. Without such surrender, one is obliged to accept a certain type of body according to his karma, sometimes as an animal, sometimes a demigod and so on. Although the body is obtained and lost in due course of time, the spirit soul does not actually mix with the body, but is subjugated by the particular modes of nature with which he is sinfully associated. Spiritual education changes one's consciousness so that one simply carries out the orders of the Supreme Lord and becomes free from the influence of the modes of material nature.
idam sariram purusasya mohajam
yatha prthag bhautikam iyate grham
yathaudakaih parthiva-taijasair janah
kalena jato vikrto vinasyati
idam--this; sariram--body; purusasya--of the conditioned soul; moha-jam--born of ignorance; yatha--just as; prthak--separate; bhautikam--material; iyate--is seen; grham--a house; yatha--just as; udakaih--with water; parthiva--with earth; taijasaih--and with fire; janah--the conditioned soul; kalena--in due course of time; jatah--born; vikrtah--transformed; vinasyati--is vanquished.
Just as a householder, although different from the identity of his house, thinks his house to be identical with him, so the conditioned soul, due to ignorance, accepts the body to be himself, although the body is actually different from the soul. This body is obtained through a combination of portions of earth, water and fire, and when the earth, water and fire are transformed in the course of time, the body is vanquished. The soul has nothing to do with this creation and dissolution of the body.
We transmigrate from one body to another in bodies that are products of our illusion, but as spirit souls we always exist separately from material, conditional life. The example given here is that a house or car is always different from its owner, but because of attachment the conditioned soul thinks it to be identical with him. A car or house is actually made of material elements; as long as the material elements combine together properly, the car or house exists, and when they are disassembled the house or the car is disassembled. The spirit soul, however, always remains as he is.
yathanalo darusu bhinna iyate
yathanilo deha-gatah prthak sthitah
yatha nabhah sarva-gatam na sajjate
tatha puman sarva-gunasrayah parah
yatha--just as; analah--the fire; darusu--in wood; bhinnah--separate; iyate--is perceived; yatha--just as; anilah--the air; deha-gatah--within the body; prthak--separate; sthitah--situated; yatha--just as; nabhah--the sky; sarva-gatam--all-pervading; na--not; sajjate--mix; tatha--similarly; puman--the living entity; sarva-guna-asrayah--although now the shelter of the modes of material nature; parah--transcendental to material contamination.
As fire, although situated in wood, is perceived to be different from the wood, as air, although situated within the mouth and nostrils, is perceived to be separate, and as the sky, although all-pervading, never mixes with anything, so the living entity, although now encaged within the material body, of which it is the source, is separate from it.
In Bhagavad-gita the Supreme Personality of Godhead has explained that the material energy and spiritual energy both emanate from Him. The material energy is described as me bhinna prakrtir astadha, the eight separated energies of the Lord. But although the eight gross and subtle material energies--namely, earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego--are stated to be bhinna, separate from the Lord, actually they are not. As fire appears separate from wood and as the air flowing through the nostrils and mouth of the body appear separate from the body, so the Paramatma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears separate from the living being but is actually separate and not separate simultaneously. This is the philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda-tattva propounded by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. According to the reactions of karma, the living being appears separate from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but actually he is very intimately related with the Lord. Consequently, even though we now seem neglected by the Lord, He is actually always alert to our activities. Under all circumstances, therefore, we should simply depend on the supremacy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus revive our intimate relationship with Him. We must depend upon the authority and control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
suyajno nanv ayam sete
mudha yam anusocatha
yah srota yo 'nuvakteha
sa na drsyeta karhicit
suyajnah--the king named Suyajna; nanu--indeed; ayam--this; sete--lies; mudhah--O foolish people; yam--whom; anusocatha--you cry for; yah--he who; srota--the hearer; yah--he who; anuvakta--the speaker; iha--in this world; sah--he; na--not; drsyeta--is visible; karhicit--at any time.
Yamaraja continued: O lamenters, you are all fools! The person named Suyajna, for whom you lament, is still lying before you and has not gone anywhere. Then what is the cause for your lamentation? Previously he heard you and replied to you, but now, not finding him, you are lamenting. This is contradictory behavior, for you have never actually seen the person within the body who heard you and replied. There is no need for your lamentation, for the body you have always seen is lying here.
This instruction by Yamaraja in the form of a boy is understandable even for a common man. A common man who considers the body the self is certainly comparable to an animal (yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke. .. sa eva go-kharah). But even a common man can understand that after death a person is gone. Although the body is still there, a dead man's relatives lament that the person has gone away, for a common man sees the body but cannot see the soul. As described in Bhagavad-gita, dehino 'smin yatha dehe: the soul, the proprietor of the body, is within. After death, when the breath within the nostrils has stopped, one can understand that the person within the body, who was hearing and replying, has now gone. Therefore, in effect, the common man concludes that actually the spirit soul was different from the body and has now gone away. Thus even a common man, coming to his senses, can know that the real person who was within the body and was hearing and replying was never seen. For that which was never seen, what is the need of lamentation?
na srota nanuvaktayam
mukhyo 'py atra mahan asuh
yas tv ihendriyavan atma
sa canyah prana-dehayoh
na--not; srota--the listener; na--not; anuvakta--the speaker; ayam--this; mukhyah--chief; api--although; atra--in this body; mahan--the great; asuh--life air; yah--he who; tu--but; iha--in this body; indriya-van--possessing all the sense organs; atma--the soul; sah--he; ca--and; anyah--different; prana-dehayoh--from the life air and the material body.
In the body the most important substance is the life air, but that also is neither the listener nor the speaker. Beyond even the life air, the soul also can do nothing, for the Supersoul is actually the director, in cooperation with the individual soul. The Supersoul conducting the activities of the body is different from the body and living force.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead distinctly says in Bhagavad-gita (15.15), sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca: "I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness." Although the atma, or soul, is present in every material body (dehino 'smin yatha dehe), he is not actually the chief person acting through the senses, mind and so on. The soul can merely act in cooperation with the Supersoul because it is the Supersoul who gives him directions to act or not to act (mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca). One cannot act without His sanction, for the Supersoul is upadrasta and anumanta, the witness and sanctioner. One who studies carefully, under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master, can understand the real knowledge that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is actually the conductor of all the activities of the individual soul, and the controller of their results as well. Although the individual soul possesses the indriyas, or senses, he is not actually the proprietor, for the proprietor is the Supersoul. Consequently the Supersoul is called Hrsikesa, and the individual soul is advised by the direction of the Supersoul to surrender to Him and thus be happy (sama-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja). Thus he can become immortal and be transferred to the spiritual kingdom, where he will achieve the highest success of an eternal, blissful life of knowledge. In conclusion, the individual soul is different from the body, senses, living force and the airs within the body, and above him is the Supersoul, who gives the individual soul all facilities. The individual soul who renders everything to the Supersoul lives very happily within the body.
dehan uccavacan vibhuh
bhajaty utsrjati hy anyas
tac capi svena tejasa
bhuta--by the five material elements; indriya--the ten senses; manah--and the mind; lingan--characterized; dehan--gross material bodies; ucca-avacan--high class and low class; vibhuh--the individual soul, which is the lord of the body and senses; bhajati--achieves; utsrjati--gives up; hi--indeed; anyah--being different; tat--that; ca--also; api--indeed; svena--by his own; tejasa--power of advanced knowledge.
The five material elements, the ten senses and the mind all combine to form the various parts of the gross and subtle bodies. The living entity comes in contact with his material bodies, whether high or low, and later gives them up by his personal prowess. This strength can be perceived in a living entity's personal power to possess different types of bodies.
The conditioned soul has knowledge, and if he wants to fully utilize the gross and subtle bodies for his real advancement in life, he can do so. It is therefore said here that by his high intelligence (svena tejasa), by the superior power of superior knowledge achieved from the right source--the spiritual master, or acarya--he can give up his conditional life in a material body and return home, back to Godhead. However, if he wants to keep himself in the darkness of this material world, he can do so. The Lord confirms this as follows in Bhagavad-gita (9.25):
yanti deva-vrata devan
pitrn yanti pitr-vratah
bhutani yanti bhutejya
yanti mad-yajino 'pi mam
"Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me."
The human form of body is valuable. One can use this body to go to the higher planetary systems, to Pitrloka, or he can remain in this lower planetary system, but if one tries he can also return home, back to Godhead. This prowess is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the Supersoul. Therefore the Lord says, mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca: "From Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness." If one wants to receive real knowledge from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can become free from bondage to repeated acceptance of material bodies. If one takes to the devotional service of the Lord and surrenders unto Him, the Lord is prepared to give one directions by which to return home, back to Godhead, but if one foolishly wants to keep himself in darkness, he can continue in a life of material existence.
yaval linganvito hy atma
tato viparyayah kleso
yavat--as long as; linga-anvitah--covered by the subtle body; hi--indeed; atma--the soul; tavat--that long; karma--of fruitive activities; nibandhanam--bondage; tatah--from that; viparyayah--reversal (wrongly thinking the body to be the self); klesah--misery; maya-yogah--a strong relationship with the external, illusory energy; anuvartate--follows.
As long as the spirit soul is covered by the subtle body, consisting of the mind, intelligence and false ego, he is bound to the results of his fruitive activities. Because of this covering, the spirit soul is connected with the material energy and must accordingly suffer material conditions and reversals, continually, life after life.
The living entity is bound by the subtle body, consisting of the mind, intelligence and false ego. At the time of death, therefore, the position of the mind becomes the cause for the next body. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (8.6), yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram: at the time of death the mind sets the criteria for the spirit soul's being carried to another type of body. If a living being resists the dictation of the mind and engages the mind in the loving service of the Lord, the mind cannot degrade him. The duty of all human beings, therefore, is to keep the mind always engaged at the lotus feet of the Lord (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh). When the mind is engaged at the lotus feet of Krsna, the intelligence is purified, and then the intelligence gets inspiration from the Supersoul (dadami buddhi-yogam tam). Thus the living entity makes progress toward liberation from material bondage. The individual living soul is subject to the laws of fruitive activity, but the Supersoul, Paramatma, is not affected by the fruitive activities of the individual soul. As confirmed in the Vedic Upanisad, the Paramatma and the jivatma, who are likened to two birds, are sitting in the body. The jivatma is enjoying or suffering by eating the fruits of the bodily activities, but the Paramatma, who is free from such bondage, witnesses and sanctions the activities of the individual soul as the individual soul desires.
yad gunesv artha-drg-vacah
yatha manorathah svapnah
sarvam aindriyakam mrsa
vitatha--fruitless; abhinivesah--the conception; ayam--this; yat--which; gunesu--in the modes of material nature; artha--as a fact; drk-vacah--the seeing and talking of; yatha--just as; manorathah--a mental concoction (daydream); svapnah--a dream; sarvam--everything; aindriyakam--produced by the senses; mrsa--false.
It is fruitless to see and talk of the material modes of nature and their resultant so-called happiness and distress as if they were factual. When the mind wanders during the day and a man begins to think himself extremely important, or when he dreams at night and sees a beautiful woman enjoying with him, these are merely false dreams. Similarly, the happiness and distress caused by the material senses should be understood to be meaningless.
The happiness and distress derived from the activities of the material senses are not actual happiness and distress. Therefore Bhagavad-gita speaks of happiness that is transcendental to the material conception of life (sukham atyantikam yat tad buddhi-grahyam atindriyam). When our senses are purified of material contamination, they become atindriya, transcendental senses, and when the transcendental senses are engaged in the service of the master of the senses, Hrsikesa, one can derive real transcendental pleasure. Whatever distress or happiness we manufacture by mental concoction through the subtle mind has no reality, but is simply a mental concoction. One should therefore not imagine so-called happiness through mental concoction. Rather, the best course is to engage the mind in the service of the Lord, Hrsikesa, and thus feel real blissful life.
There is a Vedic statement apama-somam amrta abhuma apsarobhir viharama. With reference to such a conception, one wants to go to the heavenly planets to enjoy with the young girls there and drink soma-rasa. Such imaginary pleasure, however, has no value. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (7.23), antavat tu phalam tesam tad bhavaty alpa-medhasam: "Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary." Even if by fruitive activity or worship of the demigods one is elevated to the higher planetary systems for sense enjoyment, his situation is condemned in Bhagavad-gita as antavat, perishable. The happiness one enjoys in this way is like the pleasure of embracing a young woman in a dream; for some time it may be pleasing, but actually the basic principle is false. The mental concoctions of happiness and distress in this material world are compared to dreams because of their falseness. All thoughts of obtaining happiness by using the material senses have a false background and therefore have no meaning.
atha nityam anityam va
neha socanti tad-vidah
nanyatha sakyate kartum
sva-bhavah socatam iti
atha--therefore; nityam--the eternal spirit soul; anityam--the temporary material body; va--or; na--not; iha--in this world; socanti--they lament for; tat-vidah--those who are advanced in knowledge of the body and soul; na--not; anyatha--otherwise; sakyate--is able; kartum--to do; sva-bhavah--the nature; socatam--of those prone to lamentation; iti--thus.
Those who have full knowledge of self-realization, who know very well that the spirit soul is eternal whereas the body is perishable, are not overwhelmed by lamentation. But persons who lack knowledge of self-realization certainly lament. Therefore it is difficult to educate a person in illusion.
According to the mimamsa philosophers, everything is eternal, nitya, and according to the Sankhya philosophers everything is mithya, or anitya--impermanent. Nonetheless, without real knowledge of atma-, the soul, such philosophers must be bewildered and must continue to lament as sudras. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami therefore said to Pariksit Maharaja:
nrnam santi sahasrasah
"Those who are materially engrossed, being blind to knowledge of the ultimate truth, have many subjects for hearing in human society, O Emperor." (Bhag. 2.1.2) For ordinary persons engaged in material activities there are many, many subject matters to understand because such persons do not understand self-realization. One must therefore be educated in self-realization so that under any circumstances in life he will remain steady in his vows.
lubdhako vipine kascit
paksinam nirmito 'ntakah
vitatya jalam vidadhe
tatra tatra pralobhayan
lubdhakah--hunter; vipine--in the forest; kascit--some; paksinam--of birds; nirmitah--appointed; antakah--killer; vitatya--spreading; jalam--a net; vidadhe--captured; tatra tatra--here and there; pralobhayan--luring with food.
There was once a hunter who lured birds with food and captured them after spreading a net. He lived as if appointed by death personified as the killer of the birds.
This is another incident from the histories.
tayoh kulingi sahasa
kulinga-mithunam--a pair of (male and female) birds known as kulinga; tatra--there (where the hunter was hunting); vicarat--wandering; samadrsyata--he saw; tayoh--of the pair; kulingi--the female bird; sahasa--suddenly; lubdhakena--by the hunter; pralobhita--allured.
While wandering in the forest, the hunter saw a pair of kulinga birds. Of the two, the female was captivated by the hunter's lure.
sasajjata sicas tantryam
kulingas tam tathapannam
snehad akalpah krpanah
sa--the female bird; asajjata--trapped; sicah--of the net; tantryam--in the rope; mahisyah--O queens; kala-yantrita--being forced by time; kulingah--the male kulinga bird; tam--her; tatha--in that condition; apannam--captured; niriksya--seeing; bhrsa-duhkhitah--very unhappy; snehat--out of affection; akalpah--unable to do anything; krpanah--the poor bird; krpanam--the poor wife; paryadevayat--began to lament for.
O queens of Suyajna, the male kulinga bird, seeing his wife put into the greatest danger in the grip of Providence, became very unhappy. Because of affection, the poor bird, being unable to release her, began to lament for his wife.
aho akaruno devah
krpanam mam anusocantya
dinaya kim karisyati
aho--alas; akarunah--most unkind; devah--providence; striya--with my wife; akarunaya--who is fully compassionate; vibhuh--the Supreme Lord; krpanam--poor; mam--me; anusocantya--lamenting for; dinaya--poor; kim--what; karisyati--shall do.
Alas, how merciless is Providence! My wife, unable to be helped by anyone, is in such an awkward position and lamenting for me. What will Providence gain by taking away this poor bird? What will be the profit?
kamam nayatu mam devah
kim ardhenatmano hi me
dinena jivata duhkham
kamam--as He likes; nayatu--let Him take away; mam--me; devah--the Supreme Lord; kim--what use; ardhena--with half; atmanah--of the body; hi--indeed; me--my; dinena--poor; jivata--living; duhkham--in suffering; anena--this; vidhura-ayusa--having a lifetime full of affliction.
If unkind Providence takes away my wife, who is half my body, why should He not take me also? What is the use of my living with half of my body, bereaved by loss of my wife? What shall I gain in this way?
katham tv ajata-paksams tan
matr-hinan bibharmy aham
nide me mataram prajah
katham--how; tu--but; ajata-paksan--who have not grown wings to fly; tan--them; matr-hinan--bereft of their mother; bibharmi--shall maintain; aham--I; manda-bhagyah--very unfortunate; pratiksante--they await; nide--in the nest; me--my; mataram--their mother; prajah--baby birds.
The unfortunate baby birds, bereft of their mother, are waiting in the nest for her to feed them. They are still very small and have not yet grown their wings. How shall I be able to maintain them?
The bird is lamenting for the mother of his children because the mother naturally maintains and cares for the children. Yamaraja, however, in the guise of a small boy, has already explained that although his mother left him uncared for and wandering in the forest, the tigers and other ferocious animals had not eaten him. The real fact is that if the Supreme Personality of Godhead protects one, even though one be motherless and fatherless, one can be maintained by the good will of the Lord. Otherwise, if the Supreme Lord does not give one protection, one must suffer in spite of the presence of his father and mother. Another example is that sometimes a patient dies in spite of a good physician and good medicine. Thus without the protection of the Lord one cannot live, with or without parents.
Another point in this verse is that fathers and mothers have protective feelings for their children even in bird and beast society, not to speak of human society. Kali-yuga, however, is so degraded that a father and mother even kill their children in the womb on the plea of their scientific knowledge that within the womb the child has no life. Prestigious medical practitioners give this opinion, and therefore the father and mother of this day kill their children within the womb. How degraded human society has become! Their scientific knowledge is so advanced that they think that within the egg and the embryo there is no life. Now these so-called scientists are receiving Nobel Prizes for advancing the theory of chemical evolution. But if chemical combinations are the source of life, why don't the scientists manufacture something like an egg through chemistry and put it in an incubator so that a chicken will come out? What is their answer? With their scientific knowledge they are unable to create even an egg. Such scientists are described in Bhagavad-gita as mayayapahrta jnanah, fools whose real knowledge has been taken away. They are not men of knowledge, but they pose as scientists and philosophers, although their so-called theoretical knowledge cannot produce practical results.
evam kulingam vilapantam arat
sa eva tam sakunikah sarena
vivyadha kala-prahito vilinah
evam--thus; kulingam--the bird; vilapantam--while lamenting; arat--from a distance; priya-viyoga--because of the loss of his wife; aturam--very aggrieved; asru-kantham--with tears in the eyes; sah--he (that hunter); eva--indeed; tam--him (the male bird); sakunikah--who could kill even a vulture; sarena--by an arrow; vivyadha--pierced; kala-prahitah--being moved by time; vilinah--hidden.
Because of the loss of his wife, the kulinga bird lamented with tears in his eyes. Meanwhile, following the dictations of mature time, the hunter, who was very carefully hidden in the distance, released his arrow, which pierced the body of the kulinga bird and killed him.
evam yuyam apasyantya
nainam prapsyatha socantyah
patim varsa-satair api
evam--thus; yuyam--you; apasyantyah--not seeing; atma-apayam--own death; abuddhayah--O ignorant ones; na--not; enam--him; prapsyatha--you will obtain; socantyah--lamenting for; patim--your husband; varsa-sataih--for a hundred years; api--even.
Thus Yamaraja, in the guise of a small boy, told all the queens: You are all so foolish that you lament but do not see your own death. Afflicted by a poor fund of knowledge, you do not know that even if you lament for your dead husband for hundreds of years, you will never get him back alive, and in the meantime your lives will be finished.
Yamaraja once asked Maharaja Yudhisthira, "What is the most wonderful thing within this world?" Maharaja Yudhisthira replied (Mahabharata, Vana-parva 313.116):
ahany ahani bhutani
sesah sthavaram icchanti
kim ascaryam atah param
Hundreds and thousands of living entities meet death at every moment, but a foolish living being nonetheless thinks himself deathless and does not prepare for death. This is the most wonderful thing in this world. Everyone has to die because everyone is fully under the control of material nature, yet everyone thinks that he is independent, that whatever he likes he can do, that he will never meet death but live forever, and so on. So-called scientists are making various plans by which living entities in the future can live forever, but while they are thus pursuing such scientific knowledge, Yamaraja, in due course of time, will take them away from their business of so-called research.
bala evam pravadati
jnatayo menire sarvam
sri-hiranyakasipuh uvaca--Sri Hiranyakasipu said; bale--while Yamaraja in the form of a boy; evam--thus; pravadati--was speaking very philosophically; sarve--all; vismita--struck with wonder; cetasah--their hearts; jnatayah--the relatives; menire--they thought; sarvam--everything material; anityam--temporary; ayatha-utthitam--arisen from temporary phenomena.
Hiranyakasipu said: While Yamaraja, in the form of a small boy, was instructing all the relatives surrounding the dead body of Suyajna, everyone was struck with wonder by his philosophical words. They could understand that everything material is temporary, not continuing to exist.
This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (2.18). Antavanta ime deha nityasyoktah saririnah: the body is perishable, but the soul within the body is imperishable. Therefore the duty of those advanced in knowledge in human society is to study the constitutional position of the imperishable soul and not waste the valuable time of human life in merely maintaining the body and not considering life's real responsibility. Every human being should try to understand how the spirit soul can be happy and where he can attain an eternal, blissful life of knowledge. Human beings are meant to study these subject matters, not to be absorbed in caring for the temporary body, which is sure to change. No one knows whether he will receive a human body again; there is no guarantee, for according to one's work one may get any body, from that of a demigod to that of a dog. In this regard, Srila Madhvacarya comments:
mahadadi yathottham ca
nitya capi yathotthita
sva-tantro nitya eva ca
yathartha-bhutas ca para
eka eva janardanah
Only Janardana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is ever existing, but His creation, the material world, is temporary. Therefore everyone who is captivated by the material energy and absorbed in thinking "I am this body, and everything belonging to this body is mine" is in illusion. One should think only of being eternally a part of Janardana, and one's endeavor in this material world, especially in this human form of life, should be to attain the association of Janardana by going back home, back to Godhead.
yama etad upakhyaya
jnatayo hi suyajnasya
cakrur yat samparayikam
yamah--Yamaraja in the form of a boy; etat--this; upakhyaya--instructing; tatra--there; eva--indeed; antaradhiyata--disappeared; jnatayah--the relatives; hi--indeed; suyajnasya--of King Suyajna; cakruh--performed; yat--which is; samparayikam--the funeral ceremony.
After instructing all the foolish relatives of Suyajna, Yamaraja, in the form of a boy, disappeared from their vision. Then the relatives of King Suyajna performed the ritualistic funeral ceremonies.
atah socata ma yuyam
param catmanam eva va
ka atma kah paro vatra
sviyah parakya eva va
atah--therefore; socata--lament for; ma--do not; yuyam--all of you; param--another; ca--and; atmanam--yourself; eva--certainly; va--or; kah--who; atma--self; kah--who; parah--other; va--or; atra--in this material world; sviyah--one's own; parakyah--for others; eva--indeed; va--or; sva-para-abhinivesena--consisting of absorption in the bodily concept of oneself and others; vina--besides; ajnanena--the lack of knowledge; dehinam--of all the embodied living entities.
Therefore none of you should be aggrieved for the loss of the body--whether your own or those of others. Only in ignorance does one make bodily distinctions, thinking "Who am I? Who are the others? What is mine? What is for others?"
In this material world, the conception of self-preservation is the first law of nature. According to this conception, one should be interested in his personal safety and should then consider society, friendship, love, nationality, community and so on, which have all developed because of the bodily conception of life and a lack of knowledge of the spirit soul. This is called ajnana. As long as human society is in darkness and ignorance, men will continue to make huge arrangements in the bodily conception of life. This is described by Prahlada Maharaja as bharam. In the materialistic conception, modern civilization makes enormous arrangements for huge roads, houses, mills and factories, and this is man's conception of the advancement of civilization. People do not know, however, that at any time they themselves may be kicked out of the scene and forced to accept bodies that have nothing to do with these enormous houses, palaces, roads and automobiles. Therefore when Arjuna was thinking in terms of his bodily relationships with his kinsmen, Krsna immediately chastised him, saying, kutas tva kasmalam idam visame samupasthitam anarya justam: "This bodily conception of life is befitting the anaryas, the non-Aryans, who are not advanced in knowledge." An Aryan civilization is a civilization advanced in spiritual knowledge. Not merely by stamping oneself an Aryan does one become an Aryan. To keep oneself in the deepest darkness concerning spiritual knowledge and at the same time claim to be an Aryan is a non-Aryan position. In this connection, Srila Madhvacarya quotes as follows from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana:
ka atma kah para iti dehady-apeksaya
na hi dehadir atma syan
na ca satrur udiritah
ato daihika-vrddhau va
ksaye va kim prayojanam
yas tu deha-gato jivah
sa hi nasam na gacchati
tatah satru-vivrddhau ca
sva-nase socanam kutah
ata atma-vivrddhis tu
vasudeve ratih sthira
naso nanyah kathancana
The purport is that as long as we are in this human form of body, our duty is to understand the soul within the body. The body is not the self; we are different from the body, and therefore there is no question of friends, enemies or responsibilities in terms of the bodily conception of life. One should not be very anxious about the body's changing from childhood to boyhood, from boyhood to old age and then to apparent annihilation. Rather, one should be very seriously concerned about the soul within the body and how to release the soul from the material clutches. The living entity within the body is never annihilated; therefore one should surely know that whether one has many friends or many enemies, his friends cannot help him, and his enemies cannot do him any harm. One should know that he is a spirit soul (aham brahmasmi) and that the constitutional position of the soul is unaffected by the changes of the body. In all circumstances, everyone, as a spirit soul, must be a devotee of Lord Visnu and should not be concerned with bodily relationships, whether with friends or with enemies. One should know that neither we ourselves nor our enemies in the bodily conception of life are ever killed.
iti daitya-pater vakyam
ditir akarnya sasnusa
putra-sokam ksanat tyaktva
tattve cittam adharayat
sri-naradah uvaca--Sri Narada Muni said; iti--thus; daitya-pateh--of the King of the demons; vakyam--the speech; ditih--Diti, the mother of Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa; akarnya--hearing; sa-snusa--with the wife of Hiranyaksa; putra-sokam--the great bereavement for her son, Hiranyaksa; ksanat--immediately; tyaktva--giving up; tattve--in the real philosophy of life; cittam--heart; adharayat--engaged.
Sri Narada Muni continued: Diti, the mother of Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa, heard the instructions of Hiranyakasipu along with her daughter-in-law, Rusabhanu, Hiranyaksa's wife. She then forgot her grief over her son's death and thus engaged her mind and attention in understanding the real philosophy of life.
When a relative dies one certainly becomes very much interested in philosophy, but when the funeral ceremony is over one again becomes attentive to materialism. Even Daityas, who are materialistic persons, sometimes think of philosophy when some relative meets death. The technical term for this attitude of the materialistic person is smasana-vairagya, or detachment in a cemetery or place of cremation. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, four classes of men receive an understanding of spiritual life and God--arta (the distressed), jijnasu (the inquisitive), artharthi (one who desires material gains) and jnani (one who is searching for knowledge). Especially when one is very much distressed by material conditions, one becomes interested in God. Therefore Kuntidevi said in her prayers to Krsna that she preferred distress to a happy mood of life. In the material world, one who is happy forgets Krsna, or God, but sometimes, if one is actually pious but in distress, he remembers Krsna. Queen Kuntidevi therefore preferred distress because it is an opportunity for remembering Krsna. When Krsna was leaving Kuntidevi for His own country, Kuntidevi regretfully said that she was better off in distress because Krsna was always present, whereas now that the Pandavas were situated in their kingdom, Krsna was going away. For a devotee, distress is an opportunity to remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Seventh Canto, Second Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Hiranyakasipu, King of the Demons."