Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.18
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vrndavana, September 15, 1976


tam apatantam sa vilaksya durat kumara-hodvigna-mana rathena paradravat prana-paripsur urvyam yavad-gamam rudra-bhayad yatha kah

“Asvatthama, the murderer of the princes, seeing from a great distance Arjuna coming at him with great speed, fled in his chariot, panic stricken, just to save his life, as Brahma fled in fear from Siva.”


tam apatantam sa vilaksya durat kumara-hodvigna-mana rathena paradravat prana-paripsur urvyam yavad-gamam rudra-bhayad yatha kah

So here is one reference that Lord Brahma was pursued by Lord Siva when Brahma was running after his beautiful daughter. So similarly, here, Asvatthama, he knew that Arjuna is coming to kill him, so he was running very swiftly. Apatantam sa vilaksya durat. From distant place, when he saw that Arjuna was coming… So dehatma-buddhi. This is the distinction between person in bodily concept of life and person who is liberated from the bodily concept of life. So when Durvasa Muni cursed or wanted to kill… What is the king? Ambarisa Maharaja. So Ambarisa Maharaja was a devotee. Unnecessarily he was harassed by Durvasa Muni, but because Ambarisa Maharaja was a pure devotee, advanced, he was not afraid of being killed. He was not afraid. There are many instances. Just like Prahlada Maharaja. He was attempted to be killed by his father so many times, but he was never afraid. Although he was five-years-old boy, but he was not afraid.

So that is the distinction between an advanced devotee and ordinary man. Dhiras tatra na muhyati. Death means changing of the body. So there is nothing to be very much afraid of, but one is afraid of death because at the time of death the tribulation, the miserable condition of the body is very, very severe—so much severe that one cannot remain. He has to give up this body. Just like sometimes out of disappointment, too much suffering, one commits suicide—death. So death means very, very painful, as much as birth is also very, very painful. Therefore Krsna presents, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam. One who is intelligent enough, he should always keep before him the sufferings of birth, death, old age, and disease in front. (aside:) You can, side. Birth, death, old age and…, they are very suffering condition, but if one is advanced devotee, he’s not afraid of. Narayana-parah sarve na kutascana bibhyati. Narayana-parah, he’s never afraid of. Death is coming, that’s all right. What is the wrong there? Provided he knows that “After giving up this body, I am going to Krsna”? Dhiras tatra na muhyati. He’s dhira. One who is dhira, he’s not afraid of.

So we have to become dhira. Then we shall not be afraid of death. Unless we are dhira… There are two classes of men: dhira and adhira. Dhira means one who is not disturbed even though there is cause of disturbances. One may not be disturbed when there is no cause of disturbances. Just like we are not, now at the present moment, we are not afraid of death. But as soon as we find there is earthquake, and we are afraid of this building may fall down, the cause of disturbances, then we become very much disturbed— sometimes screaming. So one who is not disturbed, even there is cause of disturbance, he is called dhira. Dhiras tatra na muhyati. This is the statement of Bhagavad-gita. We have to become dhira from adhira. But this Krsna consciousness movement is so nice that adhira can be dhira. This is the profit of this movement. Krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau premamrtambho-nidhi dhiradhira. Krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau premamrtambho-nidhi dhiradhira-jana-priyau. This Krsna consciousness movement is pleasing to both the classes of men, namely the dhira and the adhira. It is so nice. Dhiradhira-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pujitau. This was introduced by Caitanya Mahaprabhu and followed by the six Gosvamis. Vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau.

So this is the movement how to make an adhira dhira. Everyone is adhira. Who is not afraid of death? Who is not afraid of…? Of course, they are too much agnostic, they forget. But there is suffering. We can see how one suffering at the time of death. There are some men dying… Nowadays it has become a very common… Coma. One is lying in the bed for weeks, two weeks, crying. The life is not going. Those who are very, very sinful. So there is great pain at the time of death. There is great pain at the time of birth, and there is pain when you are diseased, and there are so many pains when you’re old. The body is not strong. We suffer in so many ways, especially rheumatism and indigestion. Then blood pressure, headache, so many things. Therefore one should be trained up how to become dhira. These things, disturbances, make us adhira, and we should be trained up to dhira. That is spiritual education. One has to know it. Matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah. These sufferings, matra-sparsah, tan-matra. On account of the senses, sense perception, we suffer. And the senses are made of material nature. So one has to become above the material nature, then he can become dhira. Otherwise, one has to remain adhira. Dhiradhira-jana-priyau priya-karau.

So Asvatthama became very much disturbed. Tam apatantam sa vilaksya durat kumara-ha. Ha, from hananam, killing. So he is described here not as Asvatthama, (but) kumara-ha, one who killed the five boys of Draupadi, kumaras, boys. Boys are called kumara. Prahlada Maharaja has said kaumara. Kaumara acaret prajno dharman bhagavatan iha [SB 7.6.1]. So from the childhood… Because here kumara-ha. They were innocent boys, they were killed. So we do not know whether I am a kumara or I’m old man, there is no certainty of death. Any moment death can take place. Not that “I am now kumara, I can play. When I shall become old man, I shall chant Hare Krsna.” This is not a very good policy. Prahlada Maharaja says, “No. Immediately.” Kaumara acaret prajno dharman bhagavatan iha. Therefore the children, those who are actually dhira, Vaisnava, they should give education to the children. What education? Not this so- called technical education or smoking education, drinking education and so many rascal education. This is not education. Education means bhagavata education: to understand God. That is wanted. Athato brahma jijnasa. Education should be given in such a way that the student should be very, very inquisitive. Inquisitive what about? Inquisitive about Brahman, not about this body. The body is matter, and the spirit soul is Brahman. Athato brahma jijnasa. This is human life. One should be inquisitive to know about spiritual life, what is spirit soul. That is the first education. But where is that education? There is no such education. Prahlada Maharaja teaches that immediately, from the beginning of life, as soon as one is four or five years old, he should be educated about Brahman. That is called brahma-jijnasa. Beginning. That is wanted. And for him there is need of guru. One who is inquisitive or serious about inquiring about Brahman, he requires guru. Guru is not a fashion. Guru is necessity. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. Tad-vijnanam. Tad-vijnanam means spiritual education. For material education there is no need of guru. You keep… Guru, of course required, but guru means to inquire about spiritual subject matter. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. Uttamam. Uttamam means udgata-tamam yasmat. Tamam means darkness. This world is darkness. Everyone, we know, as this material world is dark. And because it is dark there is need of the sunshine, there is need of the moonshine, there is need of electricity, there is need of fire. Because it is constitutionally dark. And the Vedic injunction is tamasi ma: “Don’t remain in darkness.” Jyotir gama: “Go to the light.” And our Caitanya-caritamrta, Kaviraja Gosvami, he gives what is that light:

krsna——surya-sama; maya haya andhakara yahan krsna tahan nahi mayara adhikara

That light is Krsna. And anything which is not Krsna… Krsna is everything, but to make a general division, maya, that is andhakara.

So we should not remain in maya. We should remain always in Krsna consciousness. Then our life is successful. Otherwise we shall continue the life of darkness, uttamam. Udgata. Tama, darkness. You have to pass over this darkness. Padam padam yad vipadam. Here in the dark… Just like in the darkness if you walk, in every step there is danger. Every step there is danger. Padam padam yad vipadam. If you want to avoid this dangerous life in darkness, then you must take to Krsna consciousness. Krsna-surya-sama; maya haya andhakara. Maya is andhakara. Yahan krsna tahan nahi mayara adhikara. The surya, as soon as there is sunshine, the darkness automatically goes away. So if you keep Krsna always in view in your brain, within your heart… Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh. If you simply keep Krsna within the heart… Man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. Then your life is success. Otherwise, in the darkness, there is always danger in every step. Padam padam yad vipadam.

samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam padam padam yad vipadam na tesam

This is the version of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Take shelter of Krsna. Samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam. Pada-pallavam, lotus feet of Krsna, yaso murareh. Murari is Krsna. One who has taken shelter of the lotus feet, which is compared with a boat, plavam, then he has nothing to fear from this material ocean of darkness. And this place, this material world, which is darkness, and where there is danger, step by step… Padam padam yad vipadam na tesam. Tesam, for them, it is not for them. It is for the persons who want to remain in the darkness. And one who does not want to remain in darkness, for him, tasmad gurum prapadyeta [SB 11.3.21]. He has to take shelter of the bona fide guru.

If you are serious about not remaining in darkness, as it is said in the Vedas, tamasi ma jyotir gama. If you take this instruction of Vedas… Vedic instruction you have to take. Otherwise you’ll suffer. That is Vedas. Why Veda is there? To give you intelligence. Caitanya-caritamrta it is said, anadi-bahirmukha jiva krsna bhuli’ gela ataeva krsna veda-purana karila(?). These rascals, anadi-bahirmukha jiva, bereft of Krsna consciousness, jiva, they do not know when they have forgotten Krsna. Anadi. Anadi means even before creation. Before creation. Long, long period. So anadi-bahirmukha jiva krsna bhuli’ gela ataeva krsna veda-purana… What is the meaning of these Vedas and Puranas? To remind us about Krsna. So how we’ll understand Vedas and Puranas? Tasmad gurum prapadyeta [SB 11.3.21]. You have to go to the guru. Why? Jijnasuh sreya… If you want to know the real life, then you have to go to guru. Jijnasuh sreya uttamam. Then what is the sign, what is the symptom of such guru where I shall get real information? That is also stated. Jijnasuh sreya uttamam, sabde pare ca nisnatam. One who is fully aware of the transcendental science or words, sabda, sabda-brahma. Sabda-brahma means Vedic literature. One is completely in awareness of Vedic knowledge. Sabde pare ca nisnatam. Nisnatam means one has taken a dip in the ocean of this Vedic literature. Nisnatam. And what is the result? Sabde pare ca nisnatam brahmany upasamasrayam. The Supreme Brahman… Brahman, Paramatma, Bhagavan. Brahmani, either of them. But Bhagavan is the best. Or, if you cannot approach Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Brahman is also. Because if one is in Brahman, he has a chance to make further progress.

But in Kali-yuga it is very difficult to go very slow. Therefore Krsna, Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the sastras, they are giving directly in touch with Krsna. Step by step, it is very difficult. So that is the special gift in this age. That is said in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, that in this age there is a special gift. What is that special gift? Kirtanad eva krsnasya. Kalau… In this age this world is full of faults, but there is one facility: kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet. One can become liberated and go back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore the Krsna consciousness movement is there to take krsna-kirtana very easily. We have got report from Europe, in Yugoslavia people are chanting Hare Krsna mantra even there, in Yugoslavia. That is a Communist country, is it not? What is that place, Yugoslavia? They are taking very nice part in chanting Hare Krsna mantra. So as Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, that there is no question of language difficulty. Hare Krsna mantra is so nice that any part of the world or any part of the universe you can go and chant, and it will be appreciated. There is no need of language difficulty. So take this Hare Krsna mantra, chant yourself, preach all over the world. Everyone will be happy and there will be no more fearfulness from death. Dhiras tatra na muhyati. No more death.

Thank you very much. (end)