"When Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was asked, 'What is the most wonderful thing in the world?' he replied, 'The most wonderful thing is that every day, every moment, people are dying, and yet everyone thinks that death will not come for him.' Every minute and every second we experience that living entities are going to the temple of death. Men, insects, animals, birds—everyone is going. This world, therefore, is called mṛtyuloka—the planet of death. Every day there are obituaries, and if we bother to go to the cemetery or crematorium grounds we can validate them. Yet everyone is thinking, 'Somehow or other I’ll live.' Everyone is subject to the law of death, yet no one takes it seriously. This is illusion. Thinking we will live forever, we go on doing whatever we like, feeling that we will never be held responsible.

This is a very risky life, and it is the densest part of illusion. We should become very serious and understand that death is waiting. We have heard the expression, 'as sure as death.' This means that in this world death is the most certain thing; no one can avoid it. When death comes, no longer will our puffed-up philosophy or advanced degrees help us. At that time our stout and strong body and our intelligence—which don’t care for anything—are vanquished. At that time the fragmental portion (jīvātmā) comes under the dictation of material nature, and prakṛti (nature) gives us the type of body for which we are fit. If we want to take this risk, we can avoid Kṛṣṇa; if we don’t want to take it, Kṛṣṇa will come to help us."

(Rāja-Vidyā: The King of Knowledge, Chapter 2)


Compiled by Padmapani das

 

 

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