Remembering Krishna

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This morning as I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, my mind was drawn to the following verse:

The devotees of the Lord are accustomed to licking up the honey available from the lotus feet of the Lord. What is the use of topics which simply waste one’s valuable life? (SB 1.16.6)

Our duration of life is not very long, and there is no certainty of when we shall be ordered to leave everything for the next stage. Thus it is our duty to see that not a moment of our life is wasted in topics which are not related with Lord Kṛṣṇa. Any topic, however pleasant, is not worth hearing if it is devoid of its relation to Kṛṣṇa. (from purport)

Which lead me to remember another very beautiful verse from an earlier chapter entitled “The Passing Away of Bhīṣmadeva in the Presence of Lord Kṛṣṇa”

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Beyond Samsara

samsara

Beyond Saṁsāra

As I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam this morning about the passing of Bhīṣmadeva it was being described how “The perfect yogīs or mystics can leave the material body at their own sweet will at a suitable time and go to a suitable planet desired by them.” And how it is possiable to go beyond Saṁsāra, and go back to Godhead without any doubt.

…In the momentous hour of leaving his material body, Bhīṣmadeva set the glorious example concerning the important function of the human form of life. The subject matter which attracts the dying man becomes the beginning of his next life. Therefore, if one is absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he is sure to go back to Godhead without any doubt.

And what is Samsara?

Saṁsāra means material existence. That is called saṁsāra. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.19). You take your birth once in some form of body. You live for some time. Then you have to give up this body. Then you have to accept another body. Then again live for some time. Then give up that body. Again accept another body. In this way, it is going on. That is called saṁsāra, rotating within this material world. (Lecture on Gurvastakam at Upsala University by His Divine Grace -Stockholm, September 9, 1973)

The saṁsāra means repetition of different bodies. That is called saṁsāra. (Lecture on SB 1.2.4 -Rome, May 28, 1974)

Saṁsāra means this material entanglement. This is called saṁsāra.
(Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 25.40-50 – San Francisco, January 24, 1967)

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The Passing Away of Bhismadeva

Lord Krishna and Bhismadeva

…The dealings of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Bhīṣmadeva on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra are interesting because the activities of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared to be partial to Arjuna and at enmity with Bhīṣmadeva; but factually all this was especially meant to show special favor to Bhīṣmadeva, a great devotee of the Lord. The astounding feature of such dealings is that a devotee can please the Lord by playing the part of an enemy.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
First Canto, Chapter 9, Text 38

The Passing Away of Bhismadeva

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Bhisma’s Passing Away

Today we observe the Disappearance of Bhismadeva or “Bhismastami” with these verses from the Srimad Bhagavatam describing this monumental event.

The perfect yogīs or mystics can leave the material body at their own sweet will…

In the momentous hour of leaving his material body, Bhīṣmadeva set the glorious example concerning the important function of the human form of life. The subject matter which attracts the dying man becomes the beginning of his next life. Therefore, if one is absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he is sure to go back to Godhead without any doubt. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (8.5-15):

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 9, Text 29-30
Bhisma’s Passing Away

dharmaṁ pravadatas tasya
sa kālaḥ pratyupasthitaḥ
yo yoginaś chanda-mṛtyor
vāñchitas tūttarāyaṇaḥ

dharmam—occupational duties; pravadataḥ—while describing; tasya—his; saḥ—that; kālaḥ—time; pratyupasthitaḥ—exactly appeared; yaḥ—that is; yoginaḥ—for the mystics; chanda-mṛtyoḥ—of one who dies according to one’s own selection of time; vāñchitaḥ—is desired by; tu—but; uttarāyaṇaḥ—the period when the sun runs on the northern horizon.

While Bhīṣmadeva was describing occupational duties, the sun’s course ran into the northern hemisphere. This period is desired by mystics who die at their will.

The perfect yogīs or mystics can leave the material body at their own sweet will at a suitable time and go to a suitable planet desired by them. In the Bhagavad-gītā (8.24) it is said that self-realized souls who have exactly identified themselves with the interest of the Supreme Lord can generally leave the material body during the time of the fire-god’s effulgence and when the sun is in the northern horizon, and thus achieve the transcendental sky. In the Vedas these times are considered auspicious for quitting the body, and they are taken advantage of by the expert mystics who have perfected the system. Perfection of yoga means attainment of such supermental states as to be able to leave the material body as desired. Yogīs can also reach any planet within no time without a material vehicle. The yogīs can reach the highest planetary system within a very short time, and this is impossible for the materialist. Even attempting to reach the highest planet will take millions of years at a speed of millions of miles per hour. This is a different science, and Bhīṣmadeva knew well how to utilize it. He was just waiting for the suitable moment to quit his material body, and the golden opportunity arrived when he was instructing his noble grandsons, the Pāṇḍavas. He thus prepared himself to quit his body before the exalted Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the pious Pāṇḍavas and the great sages headed by Bhagavān Vyāsa, etc., all great souls.

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No One Can Know the Plan of the Lord [Śrī Kṛṣṇa]

Bhishmadeva

Even a great fighter like Bhīṣma could not win the Battle of Kurukṣetra because the Lord wanted to show that vice cannot conquer virtue, regardless of who tries to execute it.

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Canto 1″Creation”, Chapter 9, Text 16
The Passing Away of Bhismadeva in the Presence of Lord Krsna

na hy asya karhicid rājan
pumān veda vidhitsitam
yad vijijñāsayā yuktā
muhyanti kavayo ‘pi hi

na—never; hi—certainly; asya—His; karhicit—whatsoever; rājan—O King; pumān—anyone; veda—knows; vidhitsitam—plan; yat—which; vijijñāsayā—with exhaustive inquiries; yuktāḥ—being engaged; muhyanti—bewildered; kavayaḥ—great philosophers; api—even; hi—certainly.

O King, no one can know the plan of the Lord [Śrī Kṛṣṇa]. Even though great philosophers inquire exhaustively, they are bewildered.

The bewilderment of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira over his past sinful acts and the resultant sufferings, etc., is completely negated by the great authority Bhīṣma (one of the twelve authorized persons). Bhīṣma wanted to impress upon Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira that since time immemorial no one, including such demigods as Śiva and Brahmā, could ascertain the real plan of the Lord. So what can we understand about it? More

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