We Must Be Prepared for Death

    anta-kāle ca mām eva
    smaran muktvā kalevaram
    yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
    yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ
    (BG 8.5)

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

This is the ultimate end of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that anta-kāle, at the time of death, at the end of life, anta-kāle ca mām, "unto Me," anta-kāle ca mām eva, "certainly," smaran, "remembering." The Deity worship especially meant for this purpose, so that you go on worshiping the Deity of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, naturally you'll be practiced to think of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa always within your heart. This practice required.

Anta-kāle ca mām eva smaran muktvā. This is the mukti. Mukti means no more material body. That is called mukti. We are now conditioned by this material body. In the material world, we are changing one body after another, but there is no mukti. There is no liberation. Mukti is... simply by changing body, we are not mukta. Mukta means we change this body not to accept any more material body, but we remain in our own spiritual body. Just like if you are diseased, you are suffering from fever, so when there is no more fever, but you remain in your original healthy body, that is called mukti. It is not that mukti means to become formless. No. The same example: You are suffering from fever. To become free from fever does not mean that you become formless. Why I shall become formless? My form is there, but my form is no more disturbed by the fever, feverish condition. That is called mukti. Roga-mukta, free from disease. Therefore it is called muktvā kalevaram. Just like the snake. They sometimes give up the outer covering of the body. Have you seen?

Devotees: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: But he remains in the body. He remains in the body. But the extra covering which had... he had grown, that is also gone once he gives up. Everything, every education, is there in the nature's study. We can see the, the snake give up the covering, but he remains in his form. Similarly, we... muktvā kalevaram means this extra... just like this dress, this is covering. I can give it up, but I remain in my original body. Similarly, mukti means I have got my original body already. It is covered by this material coating. So when there is no more material coating, that is called mukti. That can be achieved when you go to Kṛṣṇa, back to home, back to Godhead. At that time, you do not become formless. Form remains. As I am individual form, similarly, when I go to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa has also His individual form, I have also my individual form... nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). He's the chief of all living entities. So that is called mukti.

So that mukti you can have if you can remember Kṛṣṇa at the time of your death. So this is possible. If we are practiced to think of Kṛṣṇa always, naturally, at the time of death, at the time of end of this body, if we are so fortunate to think of Kṛṣṇa, His form, then we become materially free, no more this material body. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Practice. Yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ yāti (BG 8.5). In the Fourth Chapter, I think, we have read that:

    man-mayā mām upāśritāḥ
    bahavo jñāna-tapasā
    pūtā jāti mad-bhāvam
    (BG 4.10)

[Being freed from attachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking refuge in Me, many, many persons in the past became purifled by knowledge of Me—and thus they all attained transcendental love for Me.]

So that mad-bhāva, here it is said, yaḥ prayāti. Anyone who is passing away, who is leaving this body, thinking of Kṛṣṇa at the time of death, yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ yāti. Mad-bhāvam means spiritual nature, this spiritual world. This is also Kṛṣṇa's world, but this is not the spiritual world. This is material world. We have already discussed that He has got two energies: material and spiritual. This material world is the manifestation of Kṛṣṇa's material energy. Similarly, He has got a spiritual world also, because He, His spiritual energy's also one of the energies. So mad-bhāvam yāti means that spiritual energy... because Kṛṣṇa remains in that spiritual world, therefore He says mad-bhāvam, "the spiritual nature."

So this is the simple process. Anta-kāle ca mām eva smaran muktvā kalevaram, yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ (BG 8.5), yāti, "he goes"; na asti atra saṁśayaḥ, "you do not doubt it." If you have taken Kṛṣṇa as the supreme authority, and Kṛṣṇa says there is no doubt about it, then why shall I become doubtful? Why shall I disbelieve Kṛṣṇa? This is the process. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Always remember Kṛṣṇa. And death may take place at any time. There is no guarantee that after so much time you'll die. At any moment, you can die. Death, there is no guarantee. But it is a guarantee that you must die. That is guaranteed. But when you will die, that is not guaranteed. Therefore we must be prepared for death at any moment. Therefore a devotee is not afraid of death. He knows that death may come at any moment. We are... nowadays, it has... the death is very cheap. Because we are using this motorcar, these aeroplanes, so many things, ships and other things for transportation, and there is, every moment there is danger of accident, collapse, everything. So death is now very cheap. So we must be prepared for death at any moment. There is no guarantee that, "I am not yet old enough. I am not yet eighty years, ninety years. Why shall I die?" No. You may be twenty years, twenty-five years or younger than that. Death is assured, and it can take place at any moment.

Therefore our only duty is to think of Kṛṣṇa, Puruṣottama, so that we may die at any moment, but we become spiritual salvation. This is our only duty. We have no other duty. How to remember Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours, that is the greatest process of yoga perfection. Yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā. Mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā (BG 6.47): "Always thinking of Me, he is first-class yogī." So this Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is so nice that as soon as you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, you immediately remember Kṛṣṇa. You go on chanting, that means remembering. So in chanting, chanting, if there is death, so I am remembering Kṛṣṇa. What is my fear? I am going to Kṛṣṇa, back to home, back to Godhead. It is so nice.

So always be engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Then you are sure and safe, not only in this life, but also you are going back to home, back to Godhead. It is so nice thing.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Geneva, June 7, 1974)
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