Lamentation Adds One More Life

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

When the family members of Hiranyakashipu were lamenting the death of his brother Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakashipu consoles his family members. In verse 7.2.48 of Srimad Bhagavatam he says,

vitathābhiniveśo ’yaṁ yad guṇeṣv artha-dṛg-vacaḥ
yathā manorathaḥ svapnaḥ sarvam aindriyakaṁ mṛṣā

It is fruitless to see and talk of the material modes of nature and their resultant so-called happiness and distress as if they were factual. When the mind wanders during the day and a man begins to think him extremely important, or when he dreams at night and sees a beautiful woman enjoying with him, these are merely false dreams. Similarly, the happiness and distress caused by the material senses should be understood to be meaningless.

When Hiranyaksha was killed by Varaha the boar incarnation of the Lord, the relatives of Hiranyaksha lament over his death. To pacify the depressed souls, Hiranyakashipu consoles his relatives with instructions that the body and soul are different and the soul is eternal. In this regard, an example is given from an old history. This involves a discourse between Yamaraja and the friends of a dead person. In the state known as Ushinara there was a celebrated King named Suyajna. When the King was killed in battle by his enemies, his kinsmen sat down around the dead body and began to lament the death of their friend. While the queens were lamenting for the dead body of the King, their loud cries were heard even from the abode of Yamaraja. Assuming the body of a boy, Yamaraja personally approached the relatives of the dead body and advised them as follows.

"There was once a hunter who lured birds with food and captured them after spreading a net. He lived as if appointed by death personified as the killer of the birds. While wandering in the forest, the hunter saw a pair of kulinga birds. Of the two, the female was captivated by the hunter's lure. O queens of Suyajna, the male kulinga bird, seeing his wife put into the greatest danger in the grip of Providence, became very unhappy. Because of affection, the poor bird, being unable to release her, began to lament for his wife. Alas, how merciless is Providence! My wife, unable to be helped by anyone, is in such an awkward position and lamenting for me. What will Providence gain by taking away this poor bird? What will be the profit? If unkind Providence takes away my wife, who is half my body, why should He not take me also? What is the use of my living with half of my body, bereaved by loss of my wife? What shall I gain in this way?

The unfortunate baby birds, bereft of their mother, are waiting in the nest for her to feed them. They are still very small and have not yet grown their wings. How shall I be able to maintain them? Because of the loss of his wife, the kulinga bird lamented with tears in his eyes. Meanwhile, following the dictations of mature time, the hunter, who was very carefully hidden in the distance, released his arrow, which pierced the body of the kulinga bird and killed him."

This is our state most of the time, we lament meticulously all the time. Most of the times we would have 80% of our materialistic wants in good shape, but we would not be happy with that. We crave, die for the 20% gap and to fill that gap we forget all the 80% good things that we have. We hanker for the gap so much that we comment that only because of this, the whole world is making mockery out of us. We have the false ego that everyone is criticizing us for the shortcoming, but in reality, the other person would not have even thought about us. We will never take Yamaraja's instructions and apply this formula in our life but we would jump and inform this story to other people who lament to us. The other person who wanted us to listen, goes doubly dejected.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead declares to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita verse 2.14 that the happiness and distress are like the summer and winter seasons, without any endeavor they visit us and we need to just tolerate them. The Mahajan Yamaraja is advising not to lament. The demon Hiranyakashipu is instructing his relatives not to lament over his brother's death. We have instructions from Krishna, Devotees and even Demons, but still we would not listen to their advice.

We waste our precious time this way and within no time, there would be a picture of us hanging on the wall, garlanded. Yamaraj does not have any mercy (yamasya karuna naasti). He will be pleased only when we chant Krishna's names (kartavyam hari kirtanam).

Let us determine that we need to go to Krishna in "this life" itself and change for good.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva,
Sharada devi dasi
Bangalore.