Chapter XLII - 156 Home | Index | Previous | Next

Hearing these words, Suka burst into laughter. He said, "Maharaja! Evidently, you think that all those who know their end is drawing near, will like you utilise the time at their disposal in seeking to realise the vision of Him who is the embodiment of time! But, such yearning as yours can arise in the mind, only as a consequence of a favourable balance of merit, acquired in previous lives. It cannot arise all of a sudden. Consider the vast difference between what you are engaged in, when you knew that the allotted span of life is hastening to its finish, and the undertakings Kamsa was engaged in when he knew that his end was in sight! These two attitudes are named, Deva and Asura, Divine and Demoniac. For those who are equipped with the Devi or divine virtues or eagerness to do good acts, and to have good thoughts, faith in God, compassion towards all beings, contrition for swerving from the straight path, truth, non-violence, and love, only thoughts of God and urges to do sanctifying deeds, will emerge during the last days."

"Instead, those who are immersed in selfishness, egotism, greed, vice, violence and unrighteousness will suffer from evil urges, in their last days and destroy themselves. The former attain Kaivalya, or beatitude; the latter achieve only hell, Naraka."

The eye of the onlooker sees the same consumation - death. But, the goal reached by either is distinct; it is invisible to those around them. The goal is determined by the thoughts that arise in the mind of the dying. Destruction of life is common; the Darsan of God is something to be won, and earned. That is unique. Hence the proverb, "Vinaasa Kaale, Vipareetha Buddhi": When disaster is imminent, the intellect turns against! Only those who are about to be destroyed will get and welcome such evil intentions. Those who are to be blessed with the vision of God will hold fast to the pure and the elevating, in their last thoughts."

When Suka spoke thus, in all sincerity, Parikshith Maharaja said, "No, this is not the result of my effort, or the consequence of the merit acquired by me in previous lives. The fruit of the goodness of my grandfathers and father is directing me along the correct path. More than all, the illumination shed by gems of wisdom like yours and the consecrating effect of the grace of Krishna - these are heightening the devotion and dedication that rise within me. Of course, the association one is privileged or compelled to share has a promotional (or adverse) effect."

"But, luckily, since the moment of birth, the grace of God has been guide and guardian to me. I have been shaped and sustained by association with good men, comradeship with just and moral personages, acquaintance with great scholars, and the inspiration of the magnanimous deeds of my illustrious grandfathers. I must also acknowledge the help rendered by wise and discriminating ministers, who served as my right hand, and earned and enjoyed the love and reverence of my subjects. All this could never be the consequence of my efforts. However, excellent the seed, if the field is infertile can the harvest be plentiful? However high my ideals are, if my kingdom had no high tradition laid down by my ancestors, no sages and scholars to instruct and inspire, no ministers to execute and elaborate in action, no subjects to appreciate and act up to the ideals, they could only be like the vessel of milk spoiled by drops of acid curd, isn't it?"