Forgetful Nature of the Conditioned Soul

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

I was going through the "Arunodaya kirtana" song (jīv jāgo jīv jāgo) of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and found the following two lines very thought provoking as it was reflecting my "forgetful" nature. 

bhajibo boliyā ese saḿsāra-bhitare bhuliyā rohile tumi avidyāra bhare

Addressing the sleeping souls, Lord Gauranga said, " You came into this world of birth and death saying 'My Lord, I will certainly worship You', but you have forgotten this promise and remained in great ignorance.

The key word here is "forgotten". Since we have forgotten our spiritual relationship with the Supreme Lord Krsna, we have fallen down from the spiritual world to the material world. Even now, inspite of knowing the fact that constant remembrance of the Lord and chanting His holy names is our prime duty, we forget this basic necessity and remains absorbed in material activities. 

In Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 3 Chapter 31, Lord Kapila dev, while instructing his mother Devahuti about the movements of the living entities, explains to her how the unborn child in the womb, prays to the Lord that he would prefer not to come outside the womb, for fear of getting into the clutches of maya and and desires to keep his consciousness fixed in the lotus feet of the Lord. 

Srila Prabhupada has very nicely explained the sufferings of birth in the Purport of Srimad Bhagavatam 3.31.23: 

When the child comes out of the abdomen through the narrow passage, due to pressure there the breathing system completely stops, and due to agony the child loses his memory. Sometimes the trouble is so severe that the child comes Out dead or almost dead. One can imagine what the pangs of birth are like. The child remains for ten months in that horrible condition within the abdomen, and at the end of ten months he is forcibly pushed out.

In the subsequent verses Kapila Muni explains so many other pains which the child undergoes after the birth. Every one of us have undergone this pain during birth. But we don't remember that pain now. What to speak of the pain we underwent during birth, we even tend to forget the pains which we might have undergone few days ago and continue to think that this material world is a comfortable place to stay and remain absorbed in fruitive activities.

Srila Prabhupada explains further in the purport of 3.31.27:

The word vigata jñānam means that the spiritual knowledge which the child developed in the abdomen is already lost to the spell of maya. Owing to various kinds of disturbances and to being out of the abdomen, the child cannot remember what he was thinking of for his salvation. It is assumed that even if a person acquires some spiritually uplifting knowledge, circumstantially he is prone to forget it. Not only children but also elderly persons should be very careful to protect their sense of Krsna consciousness and avoid unfavorable circumstances so that they may not forget their prime duty. Avoiding unfavorable circumstances" is one of the items in the process of 'Surrender'. In every situation of our lives, we encounter various unfavorable circumstances which covers our real knowledge and subsequently leads to our forgetting Lord Krishna. Hence we should always pray to the Lord for His mercy so that we will not forget Him in any circumstance and render loving devotional service unto Him. 

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Sudarshana devi dasi.

 Moderator's Note: Srila Prabhupada's most famous catchword was "Always remember Krishna and Never forget Krishna".