Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "Lessons from the life of Dhrtarashtra" based on glorious verses present in first canto, 13th Chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam. In the previous offering we saw how we should not be attached to the false designations in this material world. Now we shall see further.
In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.13.19 Vidura says to Dhrtarashtra,
pratikriyaa na yasyeha / kutashcit karhicit prabho
sa esha bhagavaan kaalah / sarveshaam nah samaagatah
"This frightful situation cannot be remedied by any person in this material world. My lord, it is the Supreme Personality of Godhead as eternal time [kaala] that has approached us all."
Death is inevitable. But time and again we find that we don't want to accept this plain truth and somehow or the other try to find some remedy to escape from death and prolong our stay in the material world. The words kutashcit and karhicit are worth meditating in the above verse. kutashcit means "by any means" and karhicit means "by anyone". We keep asking doctors to somehow or the otherextend our stay for some more time in this material world. But the phrase - "as sure as death" - is always true, even though we may not like/want it. Vidura very well knew the mental condition of Dhrtarashtra and so even before he could ask for some remedy, Vidura makes it clear to him, that all of us would have to appear for the final exam of death - without fail.
There is a nice story about how Lord Vishnu once visited Kailash the abode of Lord Shiva. He left behind at the entrance Garuda. Garuda sat alone, marveling at the natural splendor of the place. Suddenly his eyes fell on a beautiful creature, a little bird seated on the arch crowning the entrance to Lord Shiva's place. Garuda wondered aloud, "How marvelous is this creation! One who has created these lofty mountains has also made this tiny bird – and both seem equally wonderful." Just then Yamaraj came passing by with the intention of meeting Lord Shiva. As he crossed the arch, his eyes went over to the bird and he raised his brows in a quizzical expression. Then he took his eyes off the bird and disappeared inside.
Even a slight glance of Yamaraj is said to be the harbinger of death. So Garuda told himself, "Yamaraj looking intently at the bird can mean only one thing – the bird's time is up. Perhaps on his way back he will carry away the bird's soul with him." Garuda's heart was filled with pity for the helpless creature. That it was oblivious of its own impending doom further agonized Garuda and he resolved to save the bird from the clutches of death. He swooped it up in his mighty talons, rushed to a forest thousands of miles away and left the bird on a rock beside a brook. Then he returned to Kailash and regained his position at the entrance gate. Soon after, Yamaraj emerged from inside, and nodded to Garuda in recognition. Garuda greeted him and said, "While going in, you saw a bird and for a moment you became pensive, why?" Yamaraj replied, "Well, when my eyes fell on the little bird, I saw that it was to die in a few minutes, swallowed by a python, far away from here in a forest near a brook. I wondered how this tiny creature would traverse the thousand of miles separating it from its destiny in such a short time. But there are no such serpents here, high on Kailash, and I was briefly puzzled. Then I forgot. Surely it must have happened somehow." Saying this, Yamaraj smiled and went away.
Everyone of us have come with an expiry date in this material world. Although we might not know the date, it is bound to happen at the right time. None of the people in this material world, can provide any remedy for the same. So understanding the truth, we should strive in the path of going back home, back to Godhead.
Krishna willing we shall continue to meditate on the instructions provided by Vidura to Dhrtarashtra in the subsequent offerings.
Thank you very much
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.
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