Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.1.27–34 , Surat , 1970-12-16

Prabhupāda: [japa]

sa evaṁ vartamānaḥ ajñaḥ
mṛtyu-kāla upasthite
matiṁ cakāra tanaye
bāle nārāyaṇa-āhvaye

So Ajāmila, at the point of his death, just remembered his youngest son, who was named Nārāyaṇa. So the Nārāyaṇa, very name, has got the full potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Nārāyaṇa. That is the secret of this nāma-saṅkīrtana movement. By chanting the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, you immediately contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Nāma cintāmaṇiḥ kṛṣṇaś caitanya-rasa-vigrahaḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.133]. Nāma, the Lord's name, is not material; it is spiritual. The sound is Brahman, śabda-brahma. Vedic sounds, they are śabda-brahma. They are not material sound. So nāma cintāmaṇiḥ, spiritual. Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's name, there is no difference. Nāma cintāmaṇiḥ kṛṣṇaś caitanya-rasa-vigrahaḥ.

Rasa, the transcendental mellows. Every one of us is searching after some mellow, some pleasure from everything. Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of all pleasures, rasa-vigraha, fully personified. Wherever there is Kṛṣṇa, there is rasa, a transcendental mellow, enjoyment, relishable. Very Kṛṣṇa presence.

For instance, that..., when in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra fighting was going on between Kṛṣṇa and Bhīṣma, so both of them... Kṛṣṇa, of course, did not touch any weapon, because He promised. But Grandfather Bhīṣma was very severely piercing Kṛṣṇa's body with arrows, and Kṛṣṇa was enjoying. That is the relationship between Kṛṣṇa and His devotee.

Kṛṣṇa can be worshiped, Kṛṣṇa can be loved, by any capacity. The gopīs loved Kṛṣṇa out of seemingly lust, lusty desires, and Śiśupāla remembered Kṛṣṇa out of anger. Kāmāt krodhād bhayāt. And Kaṁsa remembered always Kṛṣṇa out of fear. And of course they were not devotees. Devotees means they should be always favorably disposed to Kṛṣṇa, not inimical.

But Kṛṣṇa is so kind, even somebody is disposed to Him in an inimical attitude, he also gets salvation. For example, Kaṁsa, Dantavakra, Śiśupāla, Hiraṇyakaśipu, Rāvaṇa—they were not friendly. Still, because they thought of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, consciousness were there, but it was unfavorable.

Bhakti means favorably. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Favorably. That is bhakti. And pratikūlyena, just in the opposite way, thinking of Kṛṣṇa in inimical way, that is also accepted by Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is so kind. Anyone who thinks of Kṛṣṇa always, he is the greatest yogī. So even the enemies who think of Kṛṣṇa always, although unfavorably, he becomes a yogī, because thinking of Kṛṣṇa.

Therefore the result of yogic performances are achieved by the inimical personalities. In the impersonal Brahman effulgence, not only the highly learned scholars who are trying to attain brahma-jñāna, they enter, but also the enemies who are unfavorably thinking of Kṛṣṇa, they also enter into that spiritual kingdom, impersonal effulgence, nirviśeṣa-brahma-jyotir. Therefore a devotee's position is different from the jñānī's, impersonalist's, because the destination which is achieved by the jñānīs is also achieved by the enemies of Kṛṣṇa. So that is not a very high position.

Therefore devotees' position is very exalted. They do not... They go through the impersonal effulgence of Brahman, but they are not attracted. They are attracted in the Vaikuṇṭha planets, Goloka Vṛndāvana planets, where the Supreme Personality of Godhead lives eternally with His associates.

So the effect of chanting the holy name of Nārāyaṇa was immediately visible in the person of Ajāmila. Although he was so much sinfully absorbed, because he uttered the name of his boy, whose name was Nārāyaṇa,

dūre krīḍanakāsaktaṁ
putraṁ nārāyaṇāhvayam
plāvitena svareṇoccair

[SB 6.1.29]

At the time of death, especially those who are full of sinful activities, they become too much agitated how to save himself, how to enter into another body. It is a very painful situation. The painful situation becomes so acute that no more the living entity can live in this body. Just like sometimes it happens, when a person becomes too much painful, he commits suicide. He does not want to live within this body. But he does not know that is another sinful activity. You cannot commit suicide. That is another criminal action.

So at the time of death... Of course, those who are devotees, their position is different. People may say, "The devotee is also dying, and the nondevotee, sinful man, is also dying. What is the difference?" So there is much difference. The example is given: just like a cat catching a rat in his mouth, and at the same time carrying his cubs in the mouth.

You see... Superficially, we can see that the same mouth is being used, but one is feeling comfortable being carried by the mother, and another is feeling the death knell. Similarly, at the time of death, the devotee's feeling that they are being transferred to Vaikuṇṭha, whereas the ordinary sinful man is feeling that the Yamarāja, the dūtas, the constables of Yamarāja, are dragging him to the hellish condition of life.

So one should not conclude simply by seeing that he is dying. No. The process is different. Janma karma ca me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. As Lord Kṛṣṇa's appearance and disappearance are all spiritual, transcendental, they are not ordinary things, similarly, Lord Kṛṣṇa's devotee, His representative, who is sent to this material world for preaching the glories of Lord Kṛṣṇa, their appearance and disappearance is also like Kṛṣṇa's.

Therefore, according to Vaiṣṇava principles, the appearance and disappearance of Vaiṣṇava is considered all-auspicious. Therefore we hold festivals. Just like yesterday we had the disappearance day of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Goswami Prabhupāda. So we offered our respects and observed a festival. Āvirbhava, Tirobhava. Tirobhava [CB Madhya-khaṇḍa 20.099].

Actually, the living entity has no birth or death, and what to speak of Kṛṣṇa or His devotee. Kṛṣṇa is the chief living entity of all living entities. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. He is also a living entity. Sometimes the atheist class of men say, "God is dead." The rascals, they do not know that even a small living entity does not die.

How Kṛṣṇa can be dead, or God can be dead? Mūḍhā. Therefore these classes of men are described in the Bhagavad-gītā as mūḍhā, rascals. They do not know anything; still, they pose themselves as very learned and utter something which is neither good for them nor for the public.

So in this way, dūre krīḍanakāsaktaṁ putraṁ nārāyaṇāhvayam [SB 6.1.29], plāvitena svareṇa, very appealing voice, he began to ask his youngest son, "Please come here. I am dying." He was very much afraid of the three Yamadūtas, who were..., who came there to drag him.

niśamya mriyamāṇasya
mukhato hari-kīrtanam
bhartur nāma mahārāja
pārṣadāḥ sahasāpatan

Kṛṣṇa is so kind. As soon as He heard that "This man is chanting 'Nārāyaṇa' at the time of his death," immediately He sent His assistants, Viṣṇudūtas, to give him shelter. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt [Bg. 2.40]. The mahato bhayāt... This man, this Ajāmila, is fallen into great calamity. The Yamadūtas, the assistants of the superintendent of death, Yamarāja, has come there to drag him. So mahato bhayāt. It was a great, fearful, dangerous place. But simply by uttering "Nārāyaṇa" he was saved.

So that practice is required. Simply by... Mahato bhayāt. Here it is also said, niśamya mriyamāṇasya mukhato hari-kīrtanam. The hari-kīrtana is so glorious. If anyone at the time of death, mriyamāṇa, mriyamāṇa, one who is just dying... In a Bengali proverb it is said, parable, bhajan koro sādhan koro murte jānle haya: "Whatever you do, spiritual activities, they will be tested at the time of death." All your chants that you are practicing, this will be tested at the time of death. If you can remember Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, hari-kīrtana, at the time of death, then you are successful.

So Kṛṣṇa is so kind that immediately after hearing that the dying man was chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa or Nārāyaṇa, the same thing... Bhartur nāma pārṣadāḥ [SB 6.1.30]. The nārāyaṇa-sena, the assistants of Lord Nārāyaṇa, they are also looking like Nārāyaṇa. They have also got four hands. In the Vaikuṇṭha planets the residents are also exactly of the same feature of Nārāyaṇa. Just like in this planet the king and the citizens have the same feature of body—two hands, two legs... [break] By the same bodily feature.

There are five kinds of mukti, liberation: sārūpya, sālokya, sāmīpya, sārṣṭi. Sārṣṭi liberation is not accepted by the devotees... Not sārṣṭi; sārūpya. And those who are devotees of Kṛṣṇa, they do not accept any one of these liberations. Although, by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, they are elevated to the planet Goloka Vṛndāvana, but from their part they do not wish any kind of liberation.

They simply want to serve the Lord. And Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says that "I may take birth in a family as an ant where there are devotees," because in the house of a devotee, the ants also, by eating the remnants of the foodstuff of the devotee, becomes liberated. A devotee's position is so great, a pure devotee. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Brs. 1.1.11].

vikarṣato 'ntar hṛdayād
dāsī-patim ajāmilam
yama-preṣyān viṣṇudūtā
vārayām āsur ojasā

The Yamadūtas, the constables of Yamarāja, they were dragging Ajāmila to take him to the planet where Yamarāja is there. And as soon as he uttered the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, immediately Lord Nārāyaṇa's assistants came, and with grave voice they said, "What are you doing? Stop! You cannot take this man to the Yama-mandira." Ojasā. Ojasā, with great gravity they said.

ūcur niṣedhitās tāṁs te
ke yūyaṁ pratiṣeddhāro
dharma-rājasya śāsanam

The assistants of the Yamarāja, Yamadūtas, saw that they are very beautiful, and their bodily features are very attractive, because they are coming from Vaikuṇṭha, with four hands. So immediately they got some respectful attitude and inquired that "Who are you, that you are trying to interrupt in the administration of Yamarāja? It is not possible. You cannot... Nobody has ever interrupted with the administration of Yamarāja, so we are surprised. Who are you?"

Ūcur niṣedhitās tāṁs te vaivasvata-puraḥsarāḥ. Vaivasvata-puraḥsarāḥ. Yamarāja is also the son of Manu; therefore his assistants are called vaivasvata-puraḥ. Ke yūyaṁ pratiṣeddhāro dharma-rājasya śāsanam: "Who are you? You have appeared before us as opposing party," pratiyuddhāraḥ.

Warriors, they have got opposite party to fight. So they expected there will be fight, because they are determined to take away Ajāmila to the Yama-mandira, whereas the Viṣṇudūtas, they forbade, "Oh, you cannot take them. You cannot take him. Stop."

Kasya vā kuta āyātāḥ kasmād asya niṣedhatha: "Who are you, my dear sirs? Why you are forbidding us? What is the purpose of this forbidding?"

kasya vā kuta āyātāḥ
kasmād asya niṣedhatha
kiṁ devā upadevā vā
yūyaṁ kiṁ siddha-sattamāḥ

They saw that they were not ordinary men. With four hands. Because within this universe, four hands..., only Lord Brahmā has got four hands. Nobody has got four hands. But they were four-handed. So they understood that "They are not ordinary living entities. They must be some extraordinary demigods or some upadevatā, almost like demigods."

Siddha-sattamāḥ: "Or you are coming from the Siddhaloka." There is a planet which is called Siddhaloka within this universe. In the Siddhaloka they have got full perfection of life, as sometimes the yogīs can demonstrate. In the Siddhaloka, for going from one planet to another planet there is no need of vehicles, no need of aeroplane. They can fly themselves in the sky.

Sometimes we have seen pictures—a beautiful man and woman with wings. That is, of course, imagination. Maybe. We have not seen the inhabitants of the Siddhaloka, but we find it from Vedic scriptures that they can fly in the sky without any help of aeroplane or similar machine. They travel from one planet to another by yoga-siddhi. As the yogīs can transfer themselves from one place to another without any difficulty, similarly, the inhabitants of Siddhaloka, they can fly in the sky.

[aside:] What is that?

Yamunā: In Siddhaloka there are angels? That means angels?

Prabhupāda: Yes. [break] There are many different types of human being. So, the Caranas, the demigods, the Siddhas... Don't think that in every planet you can find out the same bodily features. There are different bodily features. So in Siddhaloka they have got the same bodily features, but their powers are far, far greater than ours. Siddha-sat...

Now they are describing,

sarve padma-palāśākṣāḥ
kirīṭinaḥ kuṇḍalino

[SB 6.1.34]

"You are so beautiful-looking that all of your eyes are just like lotus petals." Sarve padma-palāśākṣāḥ pīta-kauśeya-vāsasaḥ: "And you are very nicely dressed with yellow colored garments and ornaments," and kirīṭinaḥ, "with helmet," kirīṭinaḥ kuṇḍalinaḥ, "earrings, nice earrings, nice jewels, helmets," kirīṭinaḥ kuṇḍalino lasat-puṣkara..., "and with nice flower garlands." This is the description of the inhabitants of Vaikuṇṭhaloka. There is no hat-coat-pant. [chuckles] They are dressed in a different way.

All right. [indistinct] [break] There are five kinds of devotees, liberation. Any one. [pause] There are varieties in the spiritual kingdom also, the five kinds of liberation, any one of them. Māyāvādī philosophers, they know only one kind of liberation, sāyujya-mukti, to merge into the existence of brahma-jyotir. That much they know. Or they know... They prefer this kind of liberation, to become with the Supreme. That is taste. But devotees, they do not like. They want to keep their individuality.

Yamunā: [indistinct] angels in that [indistinct] different angels?

Prabhupāda: So the angels... The Siddhaloka is not in the spiritual world. It is in the material world. But they are highly qualified. But that Siddhaloka is not in the spiritual world. That is within the material world.

Revatīnandana: You said that the pictures they draw of the men with wings, that is not bona fide pictures?

Prabhupāda: No. The statement in the Vedic literature—that they can fly. Now one can draw some picture, because they have idea that without wings, how one can fly? That may be. That is their idea. But Nārada can fly everywhere. He has no wings. He can travel both in the spiritual and material world, but he has no wings.

Mālatī: Is it true he has the same body in the spiritual world and when he comes into the material world?

Prabhupāda: Yes, it is Nārada's facility. He has got the benediction that he can travel anywhere, without any restriction. Even some of the yogīs... Durvāsā Muni, he also went to the spiritual world, saw Lord Viṣṇu. And Arjuna also went to the spiritual world with Kṛṣṇa.

So, not that this material body cannot be transformed into spiritual body by the supreme will of the Lord. Anything can be changed. We think that this is stereotyped; it cannot be transformed. No. That's not the fact. By the supreme will, anything can be changed into anything.

Revatīnandana: I have a question. One of my prabhus told me that you once said that your Guru Mahārāja said that Jesus Christ was a śaktyāveśāvatāra. Is that correct?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because he said it, it must be correct. Muhammad also, śaktyāveśāvatāra. Śaktyāveśāvatāra means a living entity is especially empowered to preach the glories of the Lord. Lord Buddha is also śaktyāveśāvatāra. They are not ordinary human being. They are especially empowered personalities.

Devotee (1): Lord Buddha is not an incarnation?

Prabhupāda: Incarnation. Avatāra means incarnation.

Devotee (1): So that means incarnation also?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Śaktyāveśāvatāra means incarnation with special power.

Revatīnandana: It's stated in the Bhāgavatam that there are two kinds of incarnations. One is a plenary portion, and the other is an empowered living entity. They're both incarnations.

Devotee (1): I thought that Lord Buddha was supposed to be incarnation of Viṣṇu.[?]

Prabhupāda: Not viṣṇu-tattva. They are not viṣṇu-tattva. There are jīva-tattva and viṣṇu-tattva. The jīvas are sometimes... Just like Lord Brahmā. He is also not viṣṇu-tattva. Lord Śiva is between viṣṇu-tattva and jīva-tattva. So powers, energies of the Lord exhibited in different categories.

The viṣṇu-tattva is full of the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Others, they are not full. And Kṛṣṇa is the fullest, ṣoḍaśa-kalāḥ. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. Ete cāṁśa, aṁśa. Aṁśa means partially present in Kṛṣṇa. Ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28].

Revatīnandana: In this picture in the [indistinct] book, Nāradajī is asking questions of Lord Brahmā. I was thinking that Nārada has actually an all-spiritual body, and Brahmā has a material form, material body. And yet Nārada appears to Brahmājī to ask questions from him as spiritual master. How is that?

Prabhupāda: Brahmājī also enters the spiritual kingdom at the time of annihilation, with his persons.

Revatīnandana: Does he undergo a change of body at that time?

Prabhupāda: Yes. That automatically takes place. Just like Hiraṇyakaśipu's son is Prahlāda. It doesn't matter. And spiritual body, material body, that can be changed. [break]

Revatīnandana: It will all be one thing[?], spiritual into material or material...

Prabhupāda: Material means when the consciousness is not Kṛṣṇa. That is material. The same example, that iron rod, if kept to the fire, gradually it becomes warm, warmer, and at last it becomes red. When it is red, it is no longer iron; it is fire.

Similarly, by spiritual association, your body gradually becomes spiritualized. And at the perfection stage, there is no more material activities, simply the activities of the fire. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

māṁ cāvyabhicāriṇi-
bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate

The whole body becomes supplemented with Brahman effulgence. It is not for everyone, and those who are very, very much spiritually advanced, their body becomes like that. Therefore a Vaiṣṇava ācārya's body is never burned. It is entombed. They worship the body. But that is spiritual body.

Devotee (2): It is never burned?

Prabhupāda: No. [end]

ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

"One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service."

Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11