Sudarshana devi dasi

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Mathajis,

Please accept my humble pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev.

Daily we come across so many deaths in news. But we hardly feel the impact of it unless when we come across death of our own near and dear ones. At that moment too, it becomes too difficult for us to accept the bitter truth of  its inevitable nature. At work for the past few weeks there were atleast 6 obituary messages in the notice board one after the other. All of them were in 20s. The reason of death varied from road accidents to heart attacks. But irrespective of the reasons for death, I was wondering how much painful it would have been for the family-especially their parents who would have spent all these years in raising them. Unless we are fully convinced about the real purpose of life, we would be totally bewildered and misled by the impact of such sorrows.

In Srimad Bhagavatam, when Nanda Maharaj met his friend Vasudev, he knew Kamsa had cruely killed all the eight children of Vasudev. So he consoles Vasudev through verse

nunam hy adrshta-nishto 'yam / adrshta-paramo janah
adrshta aatmanas tattvam     / yo veda na sa muhyati

"Every man is certainly controlled by destiny, which determines the results of one's fruitive activities. In other words, one has a son or daughter because of unseen destiny, and when the son or daughter is no longer present, this also is due to unseen destiny. Destiny is the ultimate controller of everyone. One who knows this is never bewildered."

I came across a short story in this regard. Once there was a young mother whose infant died after few months of the birth. The mother was so upset and mad on seeing her child's death, that she went to sage and requested him to somehow bring him back to life. The sage could understand her state of mind and since he felt that she would not be able to accept the truth that death is inevitable, he assured her that he would bring the child back to life, provided she could bring him a handful off mustard seeds from a house which was never touched by Death. The women ran to every house in the village to get them. After her search she realised that there was not even a single house which was not visited by "Yamaraj". She went back to the sage empty handed and he consoled her saying, "My daughter, nothing is permanent in this world. Everything is in a flux, everything is subject to change, decay, and death. And change, decay and death cause sorrow and suffering."

The only way to avoid such bewilderment and suffering is to take shelter of that Supreme Lord who is not subjected to change. Both Krishna and His Names are eternal and for those who have taken shelter of  Them there is no reason for lamentation. Few years back we had practical experience of the same. One of  our aunt passed away and her two sons who were also sincere devotees of Krishna, just like their mother, never encouraged anyone to cry. They told everyone, "Our mother has gone to Krishna - the most safest shelter and there is no need for lamentation". Saying this they performed kirtans and Harinam continuously for 3 days and practically showed that, for devotees, even occasions like death are opportunities to glorify the Lord.

Thankyou very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Sudarshana devi dasi