Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.
Today I was going through a particular chapter in Bhagavatam titled, "Description of Adverse Fruitive Activities" in the 3rd canto. This chapter simply caught my attention very much because it was revealing to me some parts of our life which we do not care much to think about - Old Age.
The description of the old age and its related difficulties in this chapter is absolutely astounding, more so with the inconceivable purports of Srila Prabhupada.
Old age is one of the most unavoidable thing in our life but it rarely troubles our thoughts when we are young and healthy. When we are active in our young age even upto our forties and fifties, we are mostly productive. We earn and maintain families and are not so much dependent on others for doing our basic activities. This is the time we will be liked and welcomed by our family, friends and society. We might be under the impression that they respect our qualifications, name, fame etc, but in reality they love and respect us because they can get more from us than giving us.
As soon as we attain old age, it turns the other way around because in old age, we become so invalid that we are dependent on others for even our basic activities and on the other hand, we cannot be of any help to others around us. We really become a botheration for them.
Srimad Bhagavatam depicts this situation wonderfully in a sequence of 6 verses starting from SB 3.30.13,
evaṁ sva-bharaṇākalpaṁ tat-kalatrādayas tathā
nādriyante yathā pūrvaṁ kīnāśā iva go-jaram
Seeing him unable to support them, his wife and others do not treat him with the same respect as before, even as miserly farmers do not accord the same treatment to their old and worn-out oxen.
It is really a pathetic and painful situation that the same persons for whom he had spent every drop of his blood in his life, neglect him as soon as he becomes a burden. Srila Prabhupada's states wonderfully in his purport,
"When an attached person in family life becomes old and is unable to earn, he is no longer liked by his wife, sons, daughters and other kinsmen, and he is consequently neglected, what to speak of not being given respect."
I am reminded of my Guru Maharaj's statement filled with deep realization,"
We should leave our home when everyone questions us 'Why you are going?'. Otherwise very soon the time will come when the same people will ask us, 'When are you going?' "
What are we supposed to do after we leave our home?
Srila Prabhupada gives the one and only answer subsequently in his purport, "It is judicious, therefore, to give up family attachment before one attains old age and take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should employ himself in the Lord's service so that the Supreme Lord can take charge of him, and he will not be neglected by his so-called kinsmen."
The sooner we realize these facts, the better prepared we will be for our unavoidable exit.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das.
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