Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble pranams! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev!
In the ninth chapter of the first canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, we find that the great Bhishmadeva was lying in the bed of arrows, like a demigod fallen from the sky and at that time the Pandavas along with Lord Krishna came there and bowed down before Bhishma. Thus the Supreme Lord who is situated in everyone’s heart, graciously came before Bhishmadeva at the time of his passing away and we see this wonderful prayer by Bhishma deva in Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.24
sa deva-devo bhagavān pratīkṣatāṁ
kalevaraṁ yāvad idaṁ hinomy aham
mukhāmbujo dhyāna-pathaś catur-bhujaḥ
May my Lord, who is four-handed and whose beautifully decorated lotus face, with eyes as red as the rising sun, is smiling, kindly await me at that moment when I quit this material body.
We all have the desire to see the smiling face of the Lord at the time we quit our body. Before we come to the stage of praying to the Lord to kindly await us at the time of death, we are supposed to understand, realize and try to apply certain things which Bhishma deva personally instructed to the Pandavas. These are the principles which will make us ekanta bhaktas or unflinching servitors of the Lord and the Lord is inclined to His unflinching devotee and He comes before them in one form or the other at the end of life. In a wonderful class in the Mangala aarathi program in Abu Dhabi, H.G. Svayam Sphurathy Krishna Prabhu, was listing these principles. These were spoken by Bhishmadeva to the Pandavas when they approached him for instructions.
We should have the firm conviction that we are protected by the brahmanas, God and religion. Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to SB 1.9.12, As long as a person is fully in cooperation with the wishes of the Lord, guided by the bona fide brahmanas and Vaishnavas and strictly following religious principles, one has no cause for despondency, however trying the circumstances of life. Bhishmadeva, as one of the authorities in the line, wanted to impress this point upon the Pandavas.
2. sarvaṁ kāla-kṛtaṁ manye:
Everything is done by inevitable time. Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to SB 1.9.14, Everything is controlled by the supreme kaala, a forceful representative of the Lord within the material world. Everyone has to bear the actions and reactions of time as long as one is within the conditions of the material world. Even the most pious has to suffer the condition of material nature. Understanding the above we should continue to be guided by the three principles of faith in the Lord and guidance by the brahmanas and following the religious principles and not be disturbed by the tricks of eternal time.
3.Reverses are bound to happen:
Reverses are bound to happen in spite of the material and spiritual resources but we should understand that this is all due to the influence of time and kaala is identical with the Lord Himself, and therefore the influence of kaala indicates the inexplicable wish of the Lord Himself. Srila Prabhupada says There is nothing to be lamented when a
matter is beyond the control of any human being.(SB 1.9.15)
4. No one can know the plan of the Lord. Even though great philosophers inquire exhaustively, they are bewildered. (SB 1.9.16) Understanding this we should stop being bewildered by our past sinful acts and the resultant sufferings. We have the habit of trying to break our head to find out as to what is the reason for my suffering today and we try to relate it to our past sinful activities and being unable to relate we are bewildered.
5. Since we do not know the plan of the Lord, we should simply accept the inconceivable plan of the Lord and follow it. The best policy is simply to abide by the orders of the Lord without argument. ( SB 1.9.16 purport)
6. While trying to follow the principles of being an unflinching servitor, it is important to know the duty of a devotee. This Srila Prabhupada gives in his purport to SB 1.9. 17, - "A devotee’s duty, is to ungrudgingly accept tribulations from the Lord as a benediction."
If we think over this, we see that we are not serving Krishna in this mood. We are always pleased with the material benedictions, but we fail to understand that the real benediction of the Lord comes with two qualities and that is abhayam and ashokam – free from fear and lamentation. If we give a little thought over this, we will find that all the material benedictions are always accompanied by fear and lamentation unless they are employed fully in the service of the Lord.
7. Even great personalities are bewildered due to Krishna’s energy and could not understand that Lord Krishna is the original inconceivable personality of Godhead. (SB 1.9.18)
8. Only pure devotees like Narada and Kapila deva know very confidentially about His glories through direct contact. (SB 1.9.19) Sometimes the Lord , snatches the soul from the mire of material existence by giving him some tribulations and this glory of the Lord is known only to the confidential devotees and we have to grasp it by their grace.
9. To think of Krishna as an ordinary man is the grossest type of ignorance. (SB 1.9.20)
10. Krishna is equally kind to everyone and is free from the false ego of differentiation. He is thus equibalanced.(SB 1.9.21)
11. Despite being equal to everyone, Krishna appears before His unflinching servitor. The best way to establish our relation in transcendental sweetness is to approach Him through His recognized devotees. (SB 1.9.22)
12. Krishna can appear in our mind by attentive devotion and meditation and by chanting of the holy name. (yan naama kirtayan SB 1.9.23)
13. Krishna is the one who releases us from the bondage of fruitive activities at the time of quitting the material body. (mucyate kaama karmabhih SB 1.9.23)
By our sincerely attempting to understand and realize the above principles, Krishna becomes pleased and then it becomes certain that He will graciously await us at the time of our death. Our beloved spiritual master is an unflinching servitor of the Lord and a living embodiment of the above principles and thus he could concentratedly meditate on the lotus feet of the Lord at the time of his disappearance.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi,
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