Leaving the Body Peacefully

29th Dec 2006
Kalacakra Krsna das

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

Every single literature in this world is filled with non-sensical matter that has no use for the real purpose of our life. By reading those literatures, we not only waste our time but also keep ourselves unprepared to face the reality - Death. People in general do not want to think about death because they are afraid of the very thought of it. Every Advertisement, TV program, Entertainment, Sports, Dance etc is aimed at hammering upon our heads - "You are this body, enjoy as much as you can". Their main aim is to make us forget about our last days so that their business will go on. Only in the transcendental scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita, do we see elaborate description of such topics like old age and death.

As we saw in yesterday's mail, when people lead a life devoid of devotional service, they have to undergo severe pains both mentally and physically in their last days. Lord Kapila gives a vivid description of this situation in SB 3.30 13-18. He says in 3.30.15,

āste ’vamatyopanyastaṁ gṛha-pāla ivāharan
āmayāvy apradīptāgnir alpāhāro ’lpa-ceṣṭitaḥ

Thus he remains at home just like a pet dog and eats whatever is so negligently given to him. Afflicted with many illnesses, such as dyspepsia and loss of appetite, he eats only very small morsels of food, and he becomes an invalid, who cannot work any more.

Srila Prabhupada's strong words in his purports are as powerful as thunderbolt,

"Before meeting death one is sure to become a diseased invalid, and when he is neglected by his family members, his life becomes less than a dog's because he is put into so many miserable conditions. Vedic literatures enjoin, therefore, that before the arrival of such miserable conditions, one should leave home and die without the knowledge of his family members. If a man leaves home and dies without his family's knowing, that is considered to be a glorious death."

Kapila muni reveals further about our last moments in 3.30.17,

śayānaḥ pariśocadbhiḥ parivītaḥ sva-bandhubhiḥ
vācyamāno ’pi na brūte kāla-pāśa-vaśaṁ gataḥ

In this way he comes under the clutches of death and lies down, surrounded by lamenting friends and relatives, and although he wants to speak with them, he no longer can because he is under the control of time.

People may say that, "Oh my family members love me so much. Why are you giving such a negative picture?". To such ignorants Srila Prabhupada gives another punch in his purport, "For formality's sake, when a man is lying on his deathbed, his relatives come to him, and sometimes they cry very loudly, addressing the dying man: "Oh, my father!" "Oh, my friend!" or "Oh, my husband!". In that pitiable condition the dying man wants to speak with them and instruct them of his desires, but because he is fully under the control of the time factor, death, he cannot express himself, and that causes him inconceivable pain. He is already in a painful condition because of disease, and his glands and throat are choked up with mucus. He is already in a very difficult position, and when he is addressed by his relatives in that way, his grief increases."

We all have to come to this stage one day. As Prabhupada says in his purport, the pain a dying man experiences is inconceivable. We can only realize it when we actually experience it. How do we avoid this pain, or at least alleviate it? The only solution is by surrendering ourselves to the Lord and getting attached to chanting His holy names and studying Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita, we can drive away the fear of old age, disease and death and leave this body peacefully.

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