Descent and Ascent

29th Aug 2018
Sudarshana devi dasi

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

In this material world living entities go through the six transformations of the material body - It takes birth, grows, stays for some time, gives off some by-products, dwindles, and then vanishes. The point of dwindling is the stage when body begins to go through the descent phase. We begin to lose the original power of our senses - vision starts fading, hearing ability deteriorates, bodily pains increase. Body does not co-operate with us. Memory power decreases. Mahatma Vidura very nicely points out these symptoms to Maharaj Dhrtarashtra in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.13.22. He says to Dhrtarashtra,

andhaḥ puraiva vadhiro manda-prajñāś ca sāmprataṁ
viśīrṇa-danto mandāgniḥ sarāgaḥ kapham udvahan

You have been blind from your very birth, and recently you have become hard of hearing. Your memory is shortened, and your intelligence is disturbed. Your teeth are loose, your liver is defective, and you are coughing up mucus.

Pointing to symptoms of old-age, Vidura wants Dhrtarashtra to understand that it is high time that he gave up his attachments to the royal throne and associated luxury. In an aeroplane, when the flight is about to land, the crew announces to the passengers, "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are beginning our descent to our destination." During the descent, the passengers are asked to follow few regulations like - stop eating, not to move inside the plane, not to use the lavatory, remain seated with seat belt tied to our seats, switch off all electronic gadgets and patiently wait for the landing. All the entertainment programs will also be stopped. The only thing we would be allowed to do is to read some books or take our japa mala and chant. Likewise in the journey of our life also, each of us have to begin our descent when diseases and other inebrieties slowly b‌egin to creep-up giving signs of the end of our life. At such a time it is unintelligent on our part to continue to be attached to various kinds of delicacies, mundane relationships, entertainments etc. If we are attracted to these unwanted distractions, then we will get deviated from the main path of going back home, back to Godhead. The best thing to do is to chant and take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord by serious study of scriptures like Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.

Just like how we need to abide by the instructions of the air-crew for smooth landing during the descent, if we abide by the instructions of Guru, Saadhu and Shastras, then we are sure to ascend to the abode of Krishna

Hare Krishna.

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