Where did Krishna die?
A LECTURE BY HIS DIVINE GRACE A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA
ajo pi sann avyayatma / bhutanam isvaro 'pi san
prakrtim svam adhisthaya / sambhavamy atma-mayaya
"Although I am unborn and my transcendental body never perishes and although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I appear in my original transcendental form in every age." (Bhagavad-gita 4.6)
Krishna is unborn, and we are unborn too, with the difference that, unlike the Lord, we were put into a material body. Therefore, as an unborn being, we cannot maintain our position but have to wander from one body to another with no guarantee of what kind of body we will receive next. Already in this life we have to take on one body at a time. A small child gives up his childhood body and receives the body of a young person; the young man gives up his body in order to take on the body of an adult, and for this he then receives the body of an old man. Hence the conclusion that after giving up one's old body one must adopt a new body; the body of a child will be preserved again. This is the natural cycle of the material world. It resembles the change of the seasons. Spring is followed by summer and summer is followed by autumn; then comes winter and then spring again. In the same way, after the day, the night comes, and after the night, the day comes. According to these periodic alternations, we too migrate from one body to another, and it is natural to conclude that after leaving the present body we will receive another body - bhutva bhutva praliyate.
This conclusion is quite logical. It is supported by the Shastra, the Vedic scriptures, and also confirmed by the greatest authority, Krishna himself. So why should we refuse them? Anyone who does not recognize this - whoever thinks there is no afterlife - is just stupid.
There is an afterlife, and there is also an opportunity to break free from the cycle of repeated births and deaths and achieve a life of immortality. However, since we have been used to taking on one body at a time since time immemorial, we find it difficult to see life as eternal. And life in material existence is so full of problems that one might think that if there really is eternal life, it must also be full of problems. For example, if someone is forced to take very bitter medicine because of illness, lie in bed, eat there, pass urine and feces, unable to move, he may find this life so unbearable that he thinks: " Let me commit suicide. " Likewise, materialistic life is so sorrowful that one may desperately turn to the philosophy of emptiness or impersonality in an attempt to negate one's entire existence and turn everything into nothing. But becoming nothing is not possible and not even necessary. In our material state we are in trouble, but when we break free from this material state we will find real, eternal life.
Since we are particles of Krishna who is aja, that is, exists beyond birth and death, we are also aja. How could it be any different? If my father is happy, then why should I be unhappy as my father's son? I can readily conclude that I have the right to enjoy my father's property as much as he does himself. Likewise, God, Krishna, is all-powerful, all-attractive, all-knowing, and perfect in every way, and even if I am not perfect, I am a particle of God, and therefore, to a limited extent, I have all of God's attributes.
God doesn't die; consequently I will not die either. This is my nature. This fact is explained in the Bhagavad-gita (2.20): na jayate mriyate va kadacin. Krishna, who is just describing the characteristics of the soul, says there that the soul is never born, na jayate, and how should it be possible to die if one is not born? There can be no question of death, mriyate va. Death is meant for someone who is born; he who was not born cannot die either.
Unfortunately, we are not aware of this. We do scientific research but do not know that every living being is a spiritual soul and as such is never born and never dies. That is our ignorance. The soul is eternal, everlasting and primeval, nityah sasvato 'yam purano. The soul does not die when the body is destroyed, na hanyate hanyamane sarire. However, although the soul does not die, it takes on another body and this becomes bhava-roga; the material sickness, called.
Since Krishna is the highest living being, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam, we are exactly like Krishna, but with the difference that Krishna is vibhu, unlimited; whereas we, anu, are limited. Qualitatively we are of the same quality as Krishna. So all the inclinations that Krishna has can also be found in us. For example, Krishna has an inclination to love someone of the opposite sex, and so that inclination is present in us too. Love has its origin in the eternal love between Radha and Krishna. We are also looking for eternal love, but because we are conditioned by the material laws, that love is interrupted. However, if we can transcend this interruption, we will be able to participate in a loving exchange like that between Krishna and Radharani. So our goal should simply be to return home, to Krishna, for since Krishna is eternal, we will have an eternal body there too.
Although Krishna is eternal and unborn, we sometimes read that He takes birth. But even when Krishna is born, His birth is completely different from ours. We should be clear about this. The Lord says in the Bhagavad-gita (4.9):
janma karma ca me divyam / evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma / naiti man eti so 'rjuna
"Whoever knows the transcendental nature of my appearance and my deeds will not be born again in the material world after leaving the body, but will enter my eternal kingdom, oh Arjuna."
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that when Krishna appeared, Krishna was not born out of the body of Devaki, but revealed himself in His majestic four-handed form as Vishnu and then became a small child on Devaki's lap: Krishna's birth is thus transcendental, whereas our birth is imposed on us by the laws of nature. Krishna is not subject to the laws of nature; these laws are subordinate to Him, mayadhaksena prakriti suyate sa-caracaram. Prakriti, nature, is under the direction of Krishna, and we are under the rule of nature: Krishna is the lord of nature and we are its servants. So it may appear; that He was born just like us, but in reality he was not. Only fools say He was born like an ordinary human being. This is confirmed by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita (9.11): avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam. "Since I appeared like a person, the villains and fools believe that I am an ordinary person like them." Param bhavam ajanantah: "You cannot understand the mystery of the Lord's appearance as a human being."
Krishna is everywhere. The Lord dwells in everyone's heart, isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrid-dese 'rjuna tisthati. So why should it be difficult for Him who dwells in us and is omnipotent to appear before us? When the great devotee Dhruva Maharaja was absorbed in meditation on the four-handed Vishnu, his meditation was suddenly interrupted and suddenly he saw the same figure on which he had been meditating before him. Why should it be difficult for Krishna to appear this way? Likewise, it was not difficult for Him to appear before Devaki in the same four-armed form. Hence Krishna says janma karma ca me divyam: "One must understand My transcendental birth and My activities."
But why does Krishna reveal the game of His birth? To glorify those who are particularly pious and advanced in spiritual knowledge. Krishna appears as the son of Devaki to glorify His devotee Devaki. Krishna becomes the son of Yasoda to glorify Yasoda. Likewise, Krishna appears in the dynasty of Maharaja Yadu, His great devotee, only to glorify Maharaja Yadu. Even today Krishna is known as Yadava, the descendant of Maharaja Yadu. Krishna is not required to take birth in any particular family or country, but He does so in order to glorify a particular person or family based on their devotion. It is for this reason that His birth is called divyam, that is, transcendental.
Unlike us, the Lord is not obliged to take birth. That is the difference between our birth and the birth of Krishna. If, because of our karma, our activities, we are fit to take birth in a good family in human society or in the society of demigods, we will do so too; on the other hand, if our activities are at the animal level, we will be born in a family of animals. That is the power of karma. Karmana-daiva-netrena jantor dehopapattaye (SB. 3.31.1). According to our karma, we develop a certain type of body.
The human form of life is designed to understand the Supreme, the Absolute Truth, athato brahma-jijnasa. However, if we don't strive in this way, if we don't take the opportunity and just stay like animals, we will return to an animal life form. Therefore, the Krishna consciousness movement tries to prevent people from descending to the animal level of life.
The appearance of Sri Krishna is compared to the growing of the sandalwood trees in the Malay Mountains, malayasyeva candanam. There are two Malayas - the Malay Mountains and the part of the world known as Malaysia. The candana tree or sandalwood tree can grow anywhere - it is not forced to grow only in Malaysia or the Malay Mountains. However, since sandalwood trees are abundant in these parts of the world; sandalwood is known as malaya-candana. In western countries there is a perfume called Eau de Cologne. It can be made anywhere, but because it originally comes from the city of Cologne; it is known as Eau de Cologne: Sandalwood can also grow anywhere; but because it was originally found primarily in Malaysia and the Malay Mountains, it is known as Malay sandalwood.
Since India is a tropical country and sandalwood has a cooling effect, people in India use sandalwood as a cosmetic. Even today, those who can afford it wear sandalwood on their bodies during the hot summer days and enjoy a refreshing coolness all day long. In India it used to be customary after the bath to sanctify the body with tilaka symbols, then pay homage to the figure, take some candana-prasadam from the figure and apply it to the body as a cosmetic. This was called prasadhanam. However, as it says in Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.2.5), the following applies to Kali-yuga, the present age: snanam eva prasadhanam - if one can only bathe properly, that is already Prasadhana. In India, even the poorest take a bath early in the morning; when I came to America, however, I saw that it can already be problematic to bathe even once a day, and that this is often not the practice at all. In India it is normal to see people bathe three times a day; in New York, however, I saw that one; to bathe; have to go to a friend's house as there may not be an opportunity at home. These are the symptoms of Kali-yuga. Snanam eva prasadhanam. In kali-yuga, it will even be difficult to take a bath.
Another symptom of Kali-yuga is, daksyam kutumba-bharanam (SB. 12.2.7): Whoever is only able to support his family will be famous for his pious actions. The word daksyam, famous for pious acts, has its origin in daksa, which means “experienced.” In Kali-yuga one is already considered experienced if one has a family consisting of oneself, one's wife and one or two children, In India, of course, the traditional family is the extended family, which consists of the man and his wife, their parents, children, relatives, etc. In Kali-yuga, however, it will be difficult to find a simple family consisting of oneself, When I lived in New York, one of the people who came to our lectures was an old woman who had a grown son. I asked her, "Why isn't your son getting married? "You answer ete: "He can get married, but only if he can support a family."
I didn't know that there were such problems with supporting a family here. However, this is described in the Bhagavatam: He who can support a family is considered a glorious man, and a girl who is married is said to be very fortunate.
It is not our business to criticize, but the symptoms of Kali-yuga are very haunting. The duration of Kali-yuga is 432,000 years, and although only 5,000 years have passed, we already find so many difficulties, and the further the Kali-yuga goes, the more difficult times become. So it is best to perfect our Krishna consciousness and return home to God. That will save us. Otherwise, if we return to another life in Kali-yuga, we will face difficult times and suffer more and more.
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