Pradyumna: “O Sūta Gosvāmī, there are those amongst men who desire freedom from death and get eternal life. They escape the slaughtering process by calling the controller of death, Yamarāja.” [SB 1.16.7]
Prabhupāda: Kṣudrāyuṣāṁ nṛṇām. Kṣudra, means very small, āyuṣām, duration of life. As we can compare that an ant’s life or a germ’s life… They are also living entities. Their duration of life is very small. There are many flies, they take their birth at night, in the evening, and the whole night they are busy, the same way: eating, sleeping, begetting children and being afraid of. All the qualities are there. In India we have got experience. They are called diwali germs or insects. In the evening before the light—one, two, three—in this way, by midnight, it increases to thousands and millions. And in the morning, at the end of the night, you will find heaps of insects or dead body. Heaps. Millions.
So there are different grades of life. It is called mṛtyu-loka. This material world is called mṛtyu-loka: “where everyone dies.” But there are grades of duration of life. One living entity has got four minutes life, another, ten minutes, another, hundred minutes. Then days. One day, hundred days. Then year. One year, or four year, or five year, or utmost, hundred years, on this planet. So the human being can live up to utmost hundred years, but in other planets there are other living entities, demigods. And the highest, the topmost planet is Brahmaloka. And you have learned from Bhagavad-gītā, in the Brahmaloka, the duration of life, to our calculation, is very, very long. Sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ [Bg. 8.17]. In the Brahmaloka, the duration of twelve hours, our twelve hours, morning to evening, that is many millions of years to our calculation. So even if you go to that planet Brahmaloka, as you are trying to go to the moon planet… From śāstra we understand in the moon planet, they live up to ten thousands of years according to heavenly calculation. In each planet, in each society, the calculation is different. So it is calculated that in the moon planet you can live for ten thousands of years, and that calculation is compared: our six months equal to one day in that planet. So just imagine how many years of our calculation they can live.
But Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa informs us that wherever you may go, the Yamarāja is ready, the representative of Kṛṣṇa as Yamarāja. Just like the magistrate is also the representative of the government. So he is ready to come exactly as you finish your terms of duration of life. That is the way. Ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino ‘rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. So at the end of life, everyone becomes disgusted. Therefore there is some release interval. At the end of life, mostly, people, those who are…, especially ordinary human being, they do not wish to live anymore. Even from the point of view, this bodily, old body, always diseased, rheumatic pains, so… And there is no life. For old man there is no enjoyment, material enjoyment. He wants to enjoy, but he cannot enjoy. Therefore generally, they become disgusted.
There was a question, very nice question, by Akbar Vasar, the Muhammadan emperor, Mogul emperor of India, Akbar Vasar. He was in the fifteenth century, five hundred years ago. So he kept very intelligent ministers. They would reply. Whatever inquiries are made by the emperor, the particular minister will inform, “This is this, sir.” So he inquired one minister. His name was… I forget now. So “How long the lusty desires continue, sex desire?” So he replied, “Up to the point of death.” So the emperor said, “No, no, how it can be?” “No, he has got the desire, but he cannot use it. His instruments become dull or useless. Therefore… But the desire is there.” And, “I don’t believe. I cannot…I am not satisfied with this answer.” “All right, sir, I will satisfy you.”
So one day, all of a sudden the minister came to Akbar Vasar, “Sir, you will have to come with me immediately, and take your young daughter with you.” So Akbar Vasar could understand there is some meaning, so immediately he prepared and took his young daughter with him. So he asked, “Where you are going?” “You will come to know.” So he entered a house where an old man was on the death bed, a very old man. So the minister requested the emperor that “While entering the room, you kindly try to see the face of the lying man who is going to die.” So Akbar was very intelligent. So he was seeing the face. So he marked it that the man was looking towards the young girl, not to the emperor. So he said, “Yes, I have got your answer.”
So these desires… This is the root cause of our coming to this material world, to enjoy. Enjoyment is there in the spiritual world, but there, in the spiritual world, the enjoyer is Kṛṣṇa, and everyone is enjoyed. That is the position. Just like in the Western countries, the women declare that “Why we should not have equal rights with the man?” But by nature it is different. The man is the enjoyer, and the woman is the enjoyed. That is the position. Bhoktā and bhogya. There are many social problems in your country—I do not wish to discuss—but it is very grave problems. But they do not know how to systematize the human form of life because they do not know what is the aim of life. That they do not know. So aim of life is to stop this repetition of birth and death. That is the aim of life. The so-called scientists, they do not know it, and neither they work for it. They do not know it.
So here it is said, kṣudrāyuṣām: “those who have got small duration of life.” Although this small duration of life, human life, in comparison to the duration of life of other planets, it is very, very small, so but they do not know how to fulfill the mission of living condition during this life. In the animal life, the consciousness is not developed, but in the human form of life, although it is perishable, adhruvam… Prahlāda Mahārāja said, adhruvam. Dhruva. Dhruva means certain. So he advised,
kaumāra ācaret prājño
dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam
That is his advice, Prahlāda Mahārāja. He was talking with his classfriend, five years old. So he was teaching them that “Just become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” Nārada taught him. He listened from Nārada. So he was convinced that this is the only business, how to make advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
So he was Hiraṇyakaśipu’s son. He did not appoint any teacher to teach him about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But when he was in the womb of his mother, Nārada Muni advised the mother about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. She had to live for some time at the care of Nārada Muni when her husband was out being defeated by the demigods, the Hiraṇyakaśipu. So the woman’s anxiety was when her husband will come back. And at that time the child was within the womb, and she begged a benediction from Nārada, “Sir, kindly arrange in that way, that as long as my husband does not come back, I may not give birth to this child.” Nārada Muni said, “All right, it will be.” So Nārada Muni was giving her advice about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But her mind was absent, but the child within the womb, he was hearing. He was hearing. This is stated in the Bhāgavatam. You will find that when Prahlāda Mahārāja was asked this question by his friend, “My dear Prahlāda, we are also being taught by the same teacher. You are also being taught by the same teacher. You are a prince. You cannot go out. Wherefrom you have learned all this nice instruction?” So he replied that “This instruction was given by Nārada. So it was given to my mother, but as woman she has forgotten, and I remember.”
So that is the difference between a child in the womb and a grown-up woman. You see? That is by nature. They forget. Strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā [SB 1.4.25]. Therefore Mahābhārata was created by Vyāsadeva, Vedic instruction through history, to battle of Kurukṣetra. Because strī, śūdra, woman, śūdra and dvija-bandhu… Men born in high-class family, but behavior is different, they are called dvija-bandhu. So they cannot understand the Vedic lessons directly. It is not possible. They have no such intelligence. Strī, śūdra and dvija-bandhu. So Vedānta-sūtra says, janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād itarataś cārtheṣu [SB 1.1.1]. They cannot understand. Therefore through Mahābhārata they are instructed. History. History they can hear. So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, “It is the duty of a human being, even from childhood, kaumāra…” Kaumāra means from the age of fifth year up to tenth year. This is called kaumāra. So people should be educated about this, that the problem is how to stop janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi [Bg. 13.9]. This education. This is called Bhāgavata instruction. You are noting. We are talking on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The subject matter is how one shall transfer himself from this material world to the spiritual world and thereby stop birth, death, old age and disease. This is the whole subject matter.
So martyānām ṛtam icchatām. Martyānām. They should be conscious that “I do not wish to die. Why death is forced upon me?” This is intelligent question. This is the most intelligent man’s question. “I do not want death.” Just like if there is immediately some natural disturbance… I have got experience. Sometimes there was little trembling in the front house. People were crying, especially ladies, screaming. And that I have seen many times. As soon as there is a big trembling, everyone becomes afraid, “Now we are going to die. We have to die.” So everyone is afraid of death, but nobody thinks how to make a solution of this problem. But there is solution. Therefore here it is said, martyānām. Martyānām means those who are destined to die. Ṛtam icchatām. If they are willing to live, if they want to stop calling the Yamarāja… Yamarāja means he will take you or take me, every one of us, after this body is finished, according to our karma. Yamarāja is there when we are sinful. Yamarāja is not for the devotees.
That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The Ajāmila upākhyāna, Ajāmila. Ajāmila was a great sinful man. So at the time of death, somehow or other, he remembered Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa. So he was very fond of his youngest child, and the Yamarāja, not directly, by sending his men, Yamadūta… So they are very fierceful. So at the time of death this Ajāmila saw fierceful creatures, very odd-looking. So he was very much afraid, “Who are they?” So he thought, because he was very much affectionate to his youngest child… So his name was Nārāyaṇa. He called him, “Nārāyaṇa, please come here. I am very much afraid.” But just see the power of chanting the name of Nārāyaṇa. He immediately become eligible to go to Vaikuṇṭha. He did not mean Nārāyaṇa also isn’t said. But Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, he gives his commentation that he remembered real Nārāyaṇa after reference to the context. When he called for his child Nārāyaṇa, he remembered real Nārāyaṇa. Because in his boyhood, when he was… Up to his youthhood, he was very sincere devotee of Nārāyaṇa, a son of a brāhmaṇa. But he fell under the clutches of a prostitute. Therefore, after mixing with the prostitute, his all spiritual activities stopped. That is natural. So he became too much inclined to the prostitute, and he became a drunkard, he became a thief, he became a gambler, meat-eater, and debauch. All these qualifications he acquired, by the association of one prostitute. And in this age our only business is to mix with prostitute. Just see our position. How much fallen they should be. There is open market for prostitution. This is modern civilization. By the association of one prostitute… Ajāmila was a brāhmaṇa’s son, very regulated, following all the rules and regulation. But as soon as he associated with a prostitute, he became fallen down. So this man remembered Nārāyaṇa. According to Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, he supports that simply calling the name of his son was not sufficient. He remembered Nārāyaṇa. But according to śāstra, that Nārāyaṇa, the holy name of the Lord, if one chants even neglectfully, he also gets the chance of being liberated. That’s a fact.
There is one statement in the Nṛsiṁha-Purāṇa that a Muhammadan was attacked by a white boar. They kill by the tusk of the nose. So while the boar was killing that Muhammadan, he uttered, “Hārāma, hārāma.” Hārāma is an Urdu word, but this word is found in Purāṇas also, hā rāma. Hārāma means condemned, condemned. So the Muhammadans, they do not eat, I mean, the flesh of pig. Just like the Hindus, they do not eat the flesh of cow, similarly, this flesh of pig is hārāma. So he did not mean Rāma. He wanted to say, “Condemned. This boar is condemned, hārāma.” But he got the result of chanting hā rāma, hā rāma, “O my Lord Rāmacandra.” He got the result.
So the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, Nārāyaṇa… There are hundreds and thousands of names of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So any name, if you chant, you get the result. That is the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ. The person, Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His name, they are identical. Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s, this is instruction. If we chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Person, that is not different. That is Kṛṣṇa absolutism. Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa’s form here, they are not different. Kṛṣṇa’s form can give you the same result as He can do being personally present. That is Kṛṣṇa’s absolutism. So nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktiḥ. So in the name of Kṛṣṇa, there is complete potency, as it is in Kṛṣṇa personally. Therefore it is so important. In this age, we are so fallen. It is not possible to understand Kṛṣṇa as He is. But if we associate with Kṛṣṇa’s name, then that is also association with Kṛṣṇa. This is the advantage. Nāmnām akāri. So as you associate with Kṛṣṇa in His sound form, so you become purified. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ [SB 1.2.17]. This is the advantage.
So everyone’s duty is to stop this birth and death problem by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. That is the only duty. And this should be taught from the very beginning of life. Just like these pious children, those who are dancing here, taking part in this meeting. You see? And one side you can see that this is the only path of Kṛṣṇa realization that even a child can take part in it. He has no education, he has no knowledge, but the method is so nice that they can also take part. They can enjoy with their father and mother. There is no other yoga system… There are many yoga system, but this bhakti-yoga system is so perfect that the great-grandfather of the child and the child himself—anyone can take part in it. That is practical. They are dancing here. Sometimes they are chanting. These things are going to their credit of spiritual advancement. The Deity worship is introduced for the general public, that anyone who will come, who will see the Deity, who will chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, dance little or play the karatāla, some way or other, if somebody is engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, that will be credited to his account. “Yes. This living entity has advanced so much.” Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt. Even you do very little of this process of bhakti-yoga, it can save you from the greatest danger of life. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt.
The example is this Ajāmila. This Ajāmila, in the beginning of his life, he executed some service to the Lord under the instruction of his father. That was in his credit. So when he became first-class sinful man and was dying, so somehow or other, he chanted the name of Nārāyaṇa, and he became saved. He became saved. Even though it is taken as a chance, but the chance also gives him the benefit. So as soon as he uttered the name of Nārāyaṇa, he became eligible to be transported to Vaikuṇṭha, and immediately Nārāyaṇa sent his men, Nārāyaṇa-dūta, “Just go and save this man. He is being harassed by the Yamadūta.” So Yamadūta, they were taking away him. In the meantime the messenger from Vaikuṇṭha, Nārāyaṇa-dūta came, stopped, “No, you cannot take this.” So they were surprised. “Oh, who are these, so good-looking?” Because they were very odd-looking, and they did not see any good-looking men, especially from Vaikuṇṭha. They were coming with four hands, very nice. In the Vaikuṇṭha, the people are also exactly looking like Nārāyaṇa. Just like in this planet, the president is there. So far bodily features are concerned, there is no difference. The president has also two hands; we have also got two hands. Similarly, in the Vaikuṇṭhaloka, the president is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So He has got four hands, so the devotees or the inhabitants there, they have also the similar feature of the body, four hands. So these Yamadūta were surprised, that “You are looking so gentle, so nice. Why you are stopping in our duty? This man is sinful. It is our duty to take to Yamarāja, Mṛtyu.”
So there was argument, and their attempt was foiled by these Nārāyaṇa-dūta. So when they came to their master Yamarāja, that “This is our first experience, that somebody else took away from our hand the person who was to be brought here. So is there any greater personality like you, er, more than you?” So he explained, “Yes, I am servant of Nārāyaṇa.” So in that time Yamarāja advised that “To a devotee, you shall never go. It is not your jurisdiction.” Just like the police jurisdiction is for the criminals, not for the gentlemen, similarly, Yamarāja’s duty and his servant’s duty, to take away to the Yamarāja only these sinful men. And those who are devotees, they are supposed to be not sinful. Naturally, they should be sinless. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. Without becoming sinless, one cannot completely devote himself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ
A person can be completely engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness business if he is completely sinless. Of course, by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious, even there is little tinge of sin, it is evaded gradually. But one should be very alert. It is not that “Because I am Kṛṣṇa conscious, and by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious or chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, I am getting out of the jurisdiction of sinful activities…” This should never be thought of. We should be very much alert, because māyā is very strong. As soon as she gets the opportunity, immediately captures. So we should be… Therefore it is said, ṛtam icchatām. Ṛtam icchatām. So they should try to avoid sinful activities if they actually want relief from this cycle of birth and death. This is the program.
So Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is in support of this desire. One must be serious and execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Follow the rules and regulation, very simple, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and they will be saved from Mṛtyu, Yamarāja.
Thank you very much. (end)