A Life Worth Living
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
জীবন অনিত্য জানহ সার
jivana anitya janaha sara
"Understand the essence: life is temporary and filled with all sorts of adversity. Carefully taking shelter of the Name, engage in your work."
This song is composed by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur and we sing it every day. This life is so temporary (jivana anitya), and not only that—so much danger, so many problems come in this life. Then, the only way out for us is to take shelter of the Holy Name and continue with our job. We also sing,
এদেহ পতন হ'লে কি রবে আমার ।
e deha patana ha'le ki rabe amara?
When this body drops dead, what will remain ‘mine'? Upon death neither my sons nor my family will give me any satisfaction.
What will happen to me when I leave my body? We have come to this world, but where will we go after death? We always worry about the body... You think your wife, your son, your husband, your daughter will take care of you, but I have seen many families where people take care of their children, but then the children grow up, get education, get a job, get married and go abroad—and their parents end up alone at their old age, suffering; who will take care of them? Children do not think about them. This family life is like that. We are always like this:
গর্দ্দভের মত আমি করি পরিশ্রম ।
gardabhera mata ami kari parisrama
I toil laboriously like a donkey. For whom am I doing this? Still my illusion has not been dispelled.
We do so many things, we go through so many austerities, we do so much for our family life, but what do we do it for? We do not know that. We only always do, do, do—we work the whole day only for some little eating, enjoyment and sleeping. "Gardabhera mata ami kari parisrama": as I told the other day, like a donkey who always carries sugar but never gets the taste of sugar we work the whole day but we do not know what we do that for or who we do that for. We only always do karma, karma, karma (work, work, work), but the scriptures say that if you engage in karma, you will become bound by the result of that karma, and the result of that bondage is suffering in hell. So, where will that take you?
I have told before also that we are alive in this world at the expense of killing so many millions of jiva souls, and you will get the reaction for that. However, if you do everything for the Lord, if you serve the Lord—if you offer everything to the Lord—then it will be nirgun, no reaction will not come to you. That is why,
প্রসাদ-সেবা করিতে হয়
prasada-seva karite haya,
"By honouring the Lord's prasad I conquer all worldly illusions."
(Saranagati, 31.5, by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)
We have different senses and instruments—eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin (চক্ষু, কর্ণ, নাসিকা, জিহ্বা, ত্বক্, chaksu, karna, nasika, jihva, tvak), mind, intelligence, and ego (মন, বুদ্ধি, অহঙ্কার, man, buddhi, ahankar), feet, hands, rectum, genitals, mouth (পদ, পাণি, পায়ু, উপস্থ, বাক, pada, pani, payu, upastha, vak). We think we can win, we can defeat something, but the truth is we cannot even defeat ourselves. There are so many enemies within our hearts:
কাম-ক্রোধ আদি ছয় বাটপাড়ে দেয় ভয়
kama-krodha-adi chaya batapare deya bhaya
I am attacked by the six highway robbers lead by kama and krodha, and my life is coming to its end...
("Anadi karama-phale" by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)
We have so much lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness, ego (কাম, ক্রোধ, লোভ, মোহ, মদ, অভিমান, kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, abhimana) in our heart—how can we control them? With the help of good association, by practising Krishna consciousness and chanting the Holy Name, all these will be removed from our hearts.
When Sriman Mahaprabhu came to Keshav Bharati to take sannyas from him, Keshav Bharati asked Him, "Prabhu, first You must practise brahmacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha, and then only comes sannyas, after seventy-five years. How old are you now, You are coming to take sannyas?..." We know also that actually sannyas is forbidden in Kali-yuga. Hearing Keshav Bharati's words, Mahaprabhu joked,
"Yes, it is correct. Let us say I am fifty."
Keshav Bharati said, "If You are fifty, You still cannot take sannyas because You cannot control the five tastes—rupa, rasa, gandha, sabda, sparsa (form, taste, smell, sound, touch)."
"What if I am sixty?"
"Even at sixty You cannot control the six enemies—lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness, ego (kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, abhimana); so even at sixty You cannot take sannyas."
"All right, I am ninety!"
"If You do not practise the nava-vidha bhakti (nine kinds of devotion), then You cannot take sannyas even at ninety."
"OK, I am one hundred!"
"If You cannot control the ten indriya (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin (chaksu, karna, nasika, jihva, tvak), feet, hands, rectum, genitals, mouth (pada, pani, payu, upastha, vak), then even if you are one hundred You cannot take sannyas."
Mahaprabhu and Keshav Bharati discussed this all night, and in the end Keshav Bharati agreed, "Yes, You are twenty-four, but You are perfect—You can control everything and You have all the necessary qualities. I can give You sannyas."
So, practise properly. You have come to this life and you can preach Krishna consciousness properly, under guidance of Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj.
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