"How To Be Fearless At Death" 16 Mar 74 , Vrndavana Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
variyan esa te prasnah
krto loka-hitam nrpa
srotavyadisu yah parah
Srotavyadisu yah parah. The... Here in this material world we are busy in questioning and answering, or hearing. Question, hearing, and answering. This is the whole world. Even in the material field. You go to the market, you inquire, "What is the price of this thing?" and you hear the description of the thing and the price of the thing. So the prasnah, the question was made by Maharaja Pariksit just at the point of his death, "What I have to do now?" This is very intelligent. Only intelligent man can understand what is the value of this question, "What I have to do now?" Because intelligent person knows that "I am going to leave this body."
I am speaking... Pariksit Maharaja is talking with Sukadeva Gosvami at the point of death. He was given notice that "Within seven days you'll be bitten by a snake and you'll die." This was a curse by a brahmana boy. So he was ready. He was not afraid. Narayana-parah sarve na kutascana bibhyati [SB 6.17.28]. He could retaliate. He was a great devotee. He could counteract the cursing of the brahmana boy, but he did not do so. Because he was cursed, the Srimad-Bhagavatam came. He was perplexed what to do, and Sukadeva Gosvami appeared there, and everyone accepted the verdict of Sukadeva Gosvami, "Maharaja, you are a great devotee. So I shall quote from Srimad-Bhagavatam, and you hear only. That's all. You have nothing to do. Simply you hear."
sravanam kirtanam visnoh
arcanam vandanam dasyam
These are the nine different processes of devotional service. So generally, we are expected to execute all the nine different processes. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh. Sravanam kirtanam about Visnu, not for any other demigods. No, Visnu. The Mayavadis, they take it that "We can hear of any demigod, of anyone," because they are Nirakaravadi. So "You can imagine anyone and hear about him." But sastra does not say. Sastra does not say that you can hear about anybody. No. Sastra says, sravanam kirtanam visnoh, about Visnu.
...This is the bhakti process, chanting and hearing. So chanting, hearing, or questioning and answering, the same thing. So when Pariksit Maharaja was perplexed what to do at the time of death, so many great sages and saintly persons, brahmanas, they came there. Because the king is going to die. So not only of this planet, from other planets also, many, many exalted persons came. Somebody prescribed something, somebody prescribed something. So he was perplexed. Fortunately, Sri Sukadeva Gosvami arrived there, and he advised, "Maharaja, you simply hear harer nama, the name, the form, the quality, the pastimes. About Krsna, you simply hear." That was the... Therefore... And Pariksit Maharaja was a devotee from the very beginning of his life. He's a grandson of Arjuna and Maharaja Yudhisthira. Naturally, he was krsna-bhakta. He, Krsna was his grandmother's brother also. There was family relation. And he studied thoroughly... Although, when he was born, he did not see Krsna, but still, he knew that Krsna saved the whole Pandava family.
Pariksit Maharaja was so fortunate, so fortunate. From the very beginning of his life, he saw Krsna. Just like this child. These are fortunate children. Yoginam... That... Sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto 'bhijayate [Bg. 6.41]. This child who was dancing before me, he's not ordinary child. Otherwise how he could dance symmetrically? He had his practice in his previous life, and he has got the chance to get Vaisnava father and mother, and from the very beginning of his life, he is chanting, dancing. So Pariksit Maharaja was like that. So to get the chance of having good father, sucinam... Sucinam means brahmana-vaisnava, especially brahmana. And srimatam. Srimatam means very rich. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given his comment: sucinam means highly cultured brahmana, and srimatam means highly rich vaisya. So to take birth in this family, cultured family, rich family, is not ordinary thing. It is not ordinary thing. It is the result of pious activities, pious activities. The pious activities means you get your birth in a very good, aristocratic family, rich family or brahmana family. That is the result of pious activities. You become very beautiful. You become very learned. Janmaisvarya-sruta-sri [SB 1.8.26]. Four things. Janma means birth. Aisvarya means riches, wealth. Aisvarya. Janma aisvarya and sruta. Sruta means education. To become learned man, to become very educated, that is also a result of pious activities. To take birth in rich family, that is also result of pious activities. To become very beautiful, that is also result of pious activities. Janmaisvarya-sruta-sribhir edhamana-madah puman. Unfortunately... When we get these opportunities, very nice family or nice nation, beautiful body, education, we should consider that it is due to our past pious activities. Therefore they should be utilized for Krsna. Because pious activities means to approach Krsna. Those who are impious, sinful, they cannot approach Krsna. Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah [Bg. 7.15]. Those who are naradhamah, lowest of the mankind, always engaged in sinful activities, and rascals, may be very educated-mayaya apahrta-jnanah, their educational value has been taken away by maya... As, just like nowadays it has become. The more one is educated, the more one is atheist. We have received one report just now, Bombay. They are... That singing, Hare Krsna singing, nuisance, they say. You see. How degraded human being has become: "Hare Krsna singing is nuisance. And cinema singing is very good." Just see. They have become simply rascals, dogs and hogs. Simply.
So we should be very much careful of our next birth. Because... Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6]. This is the verdict of Krsna. At the time of death, whatever thought is there, you get next birth a similar body. The mind, mind creates the body, gross body. As we have got this gross body, so within this gross body there is the subtle body: mind, intelligence and ego.
Krsna says, dhiras tatra na muhyati. Dhira, those who are sober, one who knows how things are going on, dhiras tatra na muhyati.
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
So one has to become dhira. These, nowadays, the modern civilization is a rascaldom. Everyone is adhira. He does not know... In the Western countries, big, big, professors, they do not know how the soul is existing, how the transmigration of the soul is taking place, how the body is changed, what is the purpose of life, what is the perfection of... Nothing they... Simply like cats and dogs. Work very hard like an ass and enjoy like cats and dogs, ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanyam etat pasubhir naranam. This life is most degraded life, that at the present moment we see that people are suffering because they have simply become animals, all over the world. Simply taking care of this body. But here Pariksit Maharaja, now he knows that "Taking part of the body is now finished; I have to take care of the soul." Therefore he wanted to ask from Sukadeva Gosvami, "Now what I have to do? Shall I fully think of Krsna?" Because he was a Krsna devotee. Naturally, he was thinking of Krsna. Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah [Bg. 9.14]. A devotee, he always thinks of Krsna. That is devotee.
So we have to practice: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This is the chance, this is the chance for remembering Krsna. Satatam smartavyam visnum. Visnu, Lord Krsna or Lord Visnu, has to be remembered always. Here... The sloka is there: tasmad bharata sarvatma.
tasmad bharata sarvatma
bhagavan isvaro harih
srotavyah kirtitavyas ca
Icchata abhayam. Abhayam means fearlessness. One should be... Abhayam sattva-samsuddhih. There are three necessities, four necessities of conditioned life: eating, sleeping, mating and fearing. So one has to become abhayam, no more fear. How? When you take shelter of Krsna's lotus feet. Narayana-parah sarve na kutascana bibhyati [SB 6.17.28]. If you take shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna, then... Therefore Pariksit Maha..., er, Sukadeva Gosvami: icchata abhayam. Those who are actually willing to become fearless, hero, they must always... Satatam kirtayanto mam [Bg. 9.14]. Always chanting and hearing about Krsna. That is wanted. This Krsna consciousness movement is meant for that purpose, to become abhayam, no more fear. Why one should fear? Krsna assures, kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati [Bg. 9.31].
Now we have got this human form of body, durlabha, very, very rare. This human form of body is obtained after many millions of years. Not very easily. Because we had to come through the evolutionary process, 8,400,0000 species of life. Jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati. Therefore this human form of life should not be wasted. Here is the solution of all the problems of life. Don't neglect it. Therefore it is advised, durlabha manava-janama sat-sange taraha e bhava-sindhu re. E bhava-sindhu. This is the ocean, this is the ocean of nescience, ignorance. What is that? Bhava. Bhava-sindhu means take birth again and again. Bhutva bhutva praliyate [Bg. 8.19]. This is very botheration. And there is no guarantee what kind of... Therefore Pariksit Maharaja... He's also devotee. He's going to Vaikuntha. There was no doubt about it. Still, for our lesson, he inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami that "What is my duty now, now I am going to die?" This is intelligence.
Nityam. Not that for seven days. Seven days is meant for Pariksit Maharaja because he had no more time. His seven days was sufficient nityam. So we should not imitate that, that "I'll hear seven days." That is also a formality. Actually to understand one verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam it requires at least seven months. Janmady asya yatah anvayad itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah sva-rat [SB 1.1.1]. My Guru Maharaja explained this verse in Dacca for three months. Janmady asya. Actually, it is so important. The beginning.
So we must be very serious to understand Bhagavatam. If we can understand even one line, one verse, our life becomes sublime. It is so nice. There is no comparison of this literature, Srimad-Bhagavatam. That we are actually finding in the Western countries, how nicely they are receiving these granthas. We have translated into English, and they're enjoying. Actually that is the fact. Nityam bhagavata-sevaya [SB 1.2.18]. Now, our problem, what is this problem? Problem is that we have got so many dirty things within the heart. The first dirty thing is that "I am this body." "I am Indian," "I am Englishman," "I am American," "I am brahmana," "I am ksatriya," "I am sudra," "I am fat," "I am thin," "I am black and white..." These conceptions, these are all dirty things. "I am not this body," that is real knowledge. Therefore Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12], to cleanse the dirty things from the heart, that is my first business. And what is that dirty things? To identity myself with this body. That is the dirty things. The whole world is in distressed condition on account of this dirty thing, that "I am this body." This is the conception of the ass.
We have to cleanse our heart. Our heart is always aspiring how to get money, how to get women, how to get prestige, how to become leader, how to become minister, how to become guru. These are the things, always hankering in our heart. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. First of all cleanse your heart. And that is also said in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, that nasta-prayesv abhadresu nityam bhagavata-sevaya [SB 1.2.18]. Nityam. Not seven days. Nityam. Read every day. Especially those who are in Vrndavana. Every day, as much as possible, read Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita. Nityam. Then our heart will be cleansed, and we shall know what is our constitutional position, what is our relationship with Krsna, and then if we serve in that relationship, our life is perfect.
So here Pariksit Maharaja asked that "Shall I think of Krsna, or I shall hear about Krsna?" And Sukadeva Gosvami's congratulating him, variyan esa te prasnah: [SB 2.1.1] "Yes, it is very nice." Variyan, first class, glorious. Variyan esa te prasnah krto loka-hitam. "Now, your question is so nice that when I shall answer, it will be beneficial for the whole universe, loka-hitam." Loka-hitam. Because this Bhagavata is so nice, transcendental subject matter discussed about Krsna, it is loka-hitam. It should be spread all over the world. Loka does not mean your country or your society, brahmana society, gosvami society. No. Loka-hitam, for the benefit of the whole world.