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How to over the fear of death  

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Sri Shukadeva explains how to overcome the fear of death

After the devastating Mahabharatha war between the members of the Kuru dynasty,
Maharaj Parikshit, the lone descendant of Maharaj Pandu, the rightful heir to the throne,
was cursed to die within one week.

On learning of the decree which sealed his fate, Maharaj Parikshit asked Sukadeva Goswami:
'now that I am certain of my impending demise, what are my duties, according to the wise?'

Sukadeva answered: Raja, your question is glorious. This kind of inquiry is perfect.
The modes of nature are very strong, But you will transcend them and by hearing the highest wisdom.

For real insight, Son of Bharata, Everyone desiring liberation should approach the Supreme Lord, Bhagavan,
By hearing, chanting, and also memorization of His names, attributes and pastimes.

The goal of mystical knowledge, yoga practice, or fulfilling one's religious dharma
Is to awaken to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The culmination is the remembrance of Narayana.

This glorification is called Srimad Bhagavatam, a supplement to the Vedas, the essence of the Vedas.
I studied Bhagavatam at the age of twelve, from my father, Dvaipayana Vyasadeva.

Even though I was fully self-realized I was attracted, Raja, to these excellent verses
Describing the Lord's transcendental pastimes. That was my favorite subject of those which I rehearsed.

I will recite for you that same. The greatness of Shukadeva son of VyasaDeva is that of an exalted self-realized person and thus he was able to impart the Absolute Truth as it is to Maharaja Pariksit. Sukadeva Goswami answered questions about the universe, the soul, about Lord Krsna, etc. for seven consecutive days. He was above the four defects of ordinary humans: (1) tendency to cheat, (2) tendency to make mistakes, (3) tendency to be illusioned, and (4) imperfect senses. Nothing in the modern science books is even close in comparison to the words of Sukadeva Goswami. What is constantly being updated, changed, and replaced [as in the case of modern science] cannot be taken as truth. Srimad-Bhagavatam is eternally true; it does not need updates or fixes. All the prophecies foretold in the Srimad-Bhagavatam have come true and will continue to come true.

The words of the Srimad-Bhagavatam are not to be dismissed lightly by our imperfect limited vision. Srimad-Bhagavatam cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted." This is also the qualities of Vaisnava guru to eradicate the misconceptions which have been collected due to mental speculation, jnana, or one's particular sensual taste based around furtive material desire. nasta-prayesu abhadresu nityam bhagavata sevaya bhagavaty uttama sloke bhaktir bhavati naisthiki "By regularly hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and the loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, Who is praised with transcendental hymns, is established as an irrevocable fact." tada rajas tamo bhavah kama lobhadayas ca ye ceta etair anaviddham sthitam sattve prasidati As soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart, the effects of nature's modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire, and hankering, disappear from the heart.

Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy." evam prasanna manaso bhagavad bhakti yogatah bhagavat tattva vijnanam mukta sangasya jayate "Thus established in the mode of unalloyed goodness the man whose mind has been enlivened by contact with devotional service to the Lord gains positive scientific knowledge of the Personality of Godhead in the stage of liberation from all material association." bhidyate hrdaya granthis chidyante sarva samsayah ksiyante casya karmani drsta evatmanisvare "Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of furtive actions is terminated when one sees the self as the master and not a sensual slave." ato vai kavayo nityam bhaktim paramaya muda vasudeve bhagavati kurvany atma-prasadanim "Certainly, therefore, since time immemorial, all transcendentalists have been rendering devotional service to Lord Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, with great delight, because such devotional service is enlivening to the self." uttama sloka caritam cakara bhagavan rsih nihsreyasaya lokasya dhanyam svasty-ayanam mahat

"This Srimad Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of God, and it is compiled by Srila Vyasadeva, the incarnation of Godhead. It is meant for the ultimate food of all people, and it is all successful, all blissful and all perfect." krsne sva-dhamopagate dharma jnanadibhih saha kalau nasta-drsam esa puranarko 'dhunoditah "This Bhagavat Purana is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krsna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this Purana." And so the great son of Vayu preached this great science of bhakti yoga to all the fortunate souls who came there. Everyone flocked far and near to hear this full transcendental message of Srimad Bhagavatam now being placed in the embodiment of the Bhagavatam.

Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.18, "..... that there are two types of Bhagavatas, namely the book Bhagavata and the devotee Bhagavata. Both the Bhagavatas are competent remedies, and both of them or either of them can be good enough to eliminate the obstacles. A devotee Bhagavata is as good as the book Bhagavata because the devotee Bhagavata leads his life in terms of the book Bhagavata and the book Bhagavata is full of information about the Personality of Godhead and his pure devotees, who are also Bhagavatas. Bhagavata book and person are identical. "The devotee Bhagavata is a direct representative of Bhagavan, the Personality of Godhead. So by pleasing the devotee Bhagavata one can receive the benefit of the book Bhagavat. Human reason fails to understand how by serving the devotee Bhagavata or the book Bhagavata one gets gradual promotion on the path of devotion. But actually these are facts explained by Srila naradadeva, who happened to be a maidservant's son in his previous life. The maidservant was engaged in the menial service of the sages, and thus he also came into contact with them. And simply by associating with them and accepting the remnants of foodstuffs left by the sages, the son of the maidservant got the chance to become the great devotee and personality Srila Naradadeva. These are the miraculous effects of the association of Bhagavatas. And to understand these effects practically, it should be noted that by such sincere association of Bhagavatas one is sure to receive transcendental knowledge very easily, with the result that one becomes fixed in the devotional service of the Lord.

The more progress is made in devotional service under the guidance of the Bhagavatas, the more one becomes fixed in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. The messages of the book Bhagavata, therefore, have to be received from the devotee Bhagavata, and the combination of these two Bhagavatas will help the neophyte devotee to make progress on and on." The book Bhagavatam itself goes on to say in SB 1.1.3: nigama kalpa taror galitam phalam suka mukhad amrta drava samyutam pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah "O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Goswami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although it's nectarean juice was already relish able for all, including liberated souls." Bhagavata paragiya bhagavata sthani - one should understand Srimad Bhagavatm from the devotee Bhagavat who has realised Bhagavatam. In the Srimad Bhagavatam the transcendental patimes of the Lord are narrated, and the narration is systematically depicted by Srila Sukadeva Goswami.

Thus the subject matter is appealing to all classes of persons, including those who seek liberation and those who seek to become one with the supreme whole. In Sanskrit the parrot is also known as Suka. When a ripened fruit is cut by the red beaks of such birds, it's sweet flavour is enhanced. The Vedic fruit which is mature and ripe in knowledge is spoken through the lips of a Sukadev Goswami, who is compared to the parrot, not for his ability to recite the Bhagavatam exactly as he heard it from his learned father, but for his ability to present the work in a manner that woud appeal to all classes of men. The Srimad-Bhagavatam is disclosed by the great devotee Sukadeva Goswami to Maharaja Pariksit who is awaiting impending death in seven days time. Maharaja Pariksit inquires from Sukadeva Goswami about the way of perfection. Sukadeva Goswami answers Maharaja Pariksit's questions in an assembly of learned saints on the bank of the Ganges.

Finally Sukadeva explained to the Maharaja: The Supreme is ever present and without past or future
and hence He is not subject to passing away even for the space of half a moment.
His realm is known as Goloka only to a very few self-realized souls in this world.

Remember these hymns of Lord Brahma. now that you have heard these instructions
You can easily practice the austerity of spiritual association, and successfully reach the transcendental destination.

By hearing these verses of praise which Lord Brahma offers every morning,you will receive the supreme benefit,
and will return to your original spiritual position.




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Last updated on 31-03-2007