Fear of Death

Kamsa about to kill Devaki but was pacified by Vasudeva

…Once upon a time, Vasudeva, the son of Śūrasena, just after marrying Devakī, was going home on his chariot with his newly wedded wife.

While the bride and bridegroom were passing along on the chariot, there were different kinds of musical instruments playing to indicate the auspicious moment. There were conchshells, bugles, drums and kettledrums; combined together, they were vibrating a nice concert. The procession was passing very pleasingly, and Kaṁsa was driving the chariot, when suddenly there was a miraculous sound vibrated from the sky which especially announced to Kaṁsa: “Kaṁsa: you are such a fool. You are driving the chariot of your sister and your brother-in-law, but you do not know that the eighth child of this sister will kill you.”

Kaṁsa was the son of Ugrasena, of the Bhoja dynasty. It is said that Kaṁsa was the most demoniac of all the Bhoja dynasty kings. Immediately after hearing the prophecy from the sky, he caught hold of Devakī’s hair and was just about to kill her with his sword. Vasudeva was astonished at Kaṁsa’s behavior, and in order to pacify the cruel, shameless brother-in-law, he began to speak as follows, with great reason and evidence. He said, “My dear brother-in-law Kaṁsa, you are the most famous king of the Bhoja dynasty, and people know that you are the greatest warrior and a valiant king. How is it that you are so infuriated that you are prepared to kill a woman who is your own sister at this auspicious time of her marriage? Why should you be so much afraid of death? Death is already born along with your birth. From the very day you took your birth, you began to die.(Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter 1)

On Janmastami day I decided to start reading the Kṛṣṇa Book over again. I don’t know how many times I have read it but unlike mundane literature, it becomes more and more transcendentally relishable with every reading. In this first chapter entitled “The Advent of Lord Kṛṣṇa”, Vasudeva, in his attempt to pacify Kaṁsa, spoke this very famous lesson about death…

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Beyond Birth & Death

This morning as I was driving up our lane, I saw a hawk flying past me with a live squirrel in his talons. And I thought, ‘how fragile is this life’. One moment the squirrel was out collecting nuts to store in his home for the winter, and the next moment, he is being carried away to his sure death. I was reminded of the famous quote “Life takes Life”, and of how all of ours lives, hang in the balance.

There is another famous Quote from the Srimad Bhagavatam:

“Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was asked by Yamarāja, “What is the most wonderful thing in this world? Can you explain?” So Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira answered, “Yes. The most wonderful thing is that at every moment one can see that his friends, his fathers, and his relatives have died, but he is thinking, ‘I shall live forever.’”” (The Science of Self Realization)

This is the great illusion (maya)

So today I am moved to post another chapter from the book “Beyond Birth & Death” by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Chapter One entitled “We Are Not These Bodies”.

Also for a Free PDF download of entire book click the link at bottom of post.

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Attaining the Supreme

Next, one may raise the question of how one goes about approaching that abode of the Supreme Lord. Information of this is given in the Eighth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita. It is said there:

And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.

Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Kṛṣṇa and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.

…This instruction to Arjuna is very important for all men engaged in material activities. The Lord does not say that one should give up his prescribed duties or engagements. One can continue them and at the same time think of Kṛṣṇa by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. This will free one from material contamination and engage the mind and intelligence in Kṛṣṇa. By chanting Kṛṣṇa’s names, one will be transferred to the supreme planet, Kṛṣṇaloka, without a doubt.

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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