Remembering the Lord

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

There is a very instructive story in 10th Canto 64th chapter titled, "The Deliverance of King Nrga".

King Nrga, was a pious and charitable king. He was so magnanimous that he gave in charity as many cows as there are grains of sand on the earth, stars in the heavens, or drops in a rain shower. He respected the brahmanas and gave them cows, land, gold and houses, along with horses, elephants and marriageable girls with maidservants, as well as sesame, silver, fine beds, clothing, jewels, furniture and chariots. In addition, he performed Vedic sacrifices and executed various pious welfare activities. One day a cow belonging to a first-class brahmana wandered into my herd. Unaware of this, he gave this cow in charity to a different brahmana. When the cow's previous owner saw the second brahmana taking this cow away, the first brahmana claimed the cow as his and began arguing with the second brahmana. After quarrelling for some time they approached the king, and he implored them to each take one hundred thousand cows in exchange for that one cow, and to please forgive him for the offense he had unknowingly committed. But neither brahmana would accept his proposal, and the matter remained unsettled. Shortly thereafter he died and was taken by the Yamadutas to the court of Yamaraja. Yamaraja asked him which he preferred to do first: suffer the results of his sins or enjoy the results of his pious acts.

King Nrga's reply is very astonishing. Even if we have done so many sinful actions, we would first prefer to enjoy the results of pious activities. Also we would never be ready to accept an offense when we are not directly responsible for it. But being a pious devotee of the Lord, King Nrga, not only accepts the offense which he unknowingly committed, but also willing to accept the punishment for the same first. In fact Yamaraj himself says that he could see a endless list of pious act in King Nrga's account. It is because of these wonderful qualities, Lord had bestowed him the benediction of remembering Lord and his past life, even when he had to take the form of a giant lizard and reside in a deep well. Not only was he able to remember Krishna, but he was also blessed by the Lord's touch. As soon as Krishna lifted the lizard out of the well, King Nrga regained his original human body.

A real devotee is not worried about the material conditions or circumstances he may be forced to experience. Whatever species he may be born in, his only desire is that he should always remember (śravaṇaṁ) the Lord. The unique quality of smaraṇaṁ is that it is the only form of devotional service which can be performed in all forms of life. In a human body, we may be able to do the other forms of devotional service like śravaṇaṁ, kīrtanaṁ, vandanaṁ etc, but it may not be possible in other types of bodies. But smaraṇaṁ is universal and based on our intensity of bhakti, sometimes even if one accidentally falls down into other forms of living entities, by Krishna's grace they may remember their previous lives and also the Supreme Lord. We have numerous examples in the shastras like Gajendra, Bharata Maharaj etc.

Finally before taking leave to enjoy the results of his pious deeds, King Nrga offers wonderful prayers to Krsna signifying the importance of remembering the Lord in 10.64.27-28,

deva-deva jagan-nātha govinda puruṣottama
nārāyaṇa hṛṣīkeśa puṇya-ślokācyutāvyaya

anujānīhi māṁ kṛṣṇa yāntaṁ deva-gatiṁ prabho
yatra kvāpi sataś ceto bhūyān me tvat-padāspadam

O Devadeva, Jagannātha, Govinda, Puruṣottama, Nārāyaṇa, Hṛṣīkeśa, Puṇyaśloka, Acyuta, Avyaya! O Kṛṣṇa, please permit me to depart for the world of the demigods. Wherever I live, O master, may my mind always take shelter of Your feet.

A very punching statement from Srila Prabhupada's purport for SB 3.1.32 sums it up all for us thus:

"Constant thought of the Lord is the antiseptic method for keeping oneself free from the infectious contamination of the material qualities."

Let us pray to the Supreme Lord to bestow upon us the benediction of remembering Him under all circumstances birth after birth.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev, 
Kalacakra Krsna das.