Fallible Soldiers!

“Actually this whole material world is running on this attraction between man and woman. It is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam that once the boy and girl unite intimately the hard knot is formed, and the girl is thinking Oh, without him I am lost, and the boy is thinking Oh, without her I am lost, that is Maya’s arrangement for keeping us bound-up tightly in the material atmosphere. If wife is there, then some money must be coming, that means work, land or factory, children, home, friends, community, nation—like that there is increasing complication of illusion of thinking: This is mine, that is mine. But they do not know that one day death will kick them out, mercilessly, and neither home, nor wife, nor children, nothing can prevent that. All along he is thinking these things are like soldiers of security to safeguard his happy life, but they are described as ‘fallible soldiers’ because they will not help us at all. When the moment of death is there, no one may protect us, and if we are not prepared for that moment by practicing Krishna Consciousness or God-consciousness, then we shall be struck with fear and we shall not know where we are going after and what kind of body we may be forced by nature to take.”

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 7, 1972)

“Moha means illusion. What is that illusion? ‘I am this body, and I belong to this material world. This is my society. This is my country. This is my wife. This my children.’ This is illusion. Why illusion? Because these are false things. Nobody is your wife, nobody is your children; they have simply assembled together by the waves of time. Just like we have seen in the waves of the river, so many straws assembled together, and again, on the waves, they are separated— one straw goes this way, another straw goes… Finished. You see? So this is position. We, by our karma-phala, by the action, reaction of our karma, we artificially assemble there in a family, in a society, in a country, in a community, in a nation, like that. And after few years, by the waves of time, everything is separated. You go somewhere, you go, you go somewhere, you go somewhere, this way… This is going on.”

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Delhi, November 7, 1973)

“This material world exists only as a dream, due to our attachment to it. Otherwise, the living soul is always different from the material nature. The great ocean of material nature is tossing with the waves of time, and the so-called living conditions are something like foaming bubbles, which appear before us as bodily self, wife, children, society, countrymen, etc. Due to a lack of knowledge of self, we become victimized by the force of ignorance and thus spoil the valuable energy of human life in a vain search after permanent living conditions, which are impossible in this material world.

Our friends, relatives and so-called wives and children are not only fallible, but also bewildered by the outward glamor of material existence. As such, they cannot save us. Still we think that we are safe within the orbit of family, society or country.

The whole materialistic advancement of human civilization is like the decoration of a dead body. Everyone is a dead body flapping only for a few days, and yet all the energy of human life is being wasted in the decoration of this dead body.”

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.1.4, Purport)

“Everyone will be forced. You cannot live here forever. They are making very nice arrangement: nice house, nice kingdom, nice city, nice bank balance, nice society, nice community, nice nation. But they are missing one point, that ‘Any moment I shall be kicked out. Any moment.’ There is no guarantee. Parīkṣit Mahārāja got seven days’ time, that ‘You shall die within seven days.’ We have no even one second’s guarantee. This is our position. But still, we are so much attached. Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu ātma-sainyeṣu (SB 2.1.4). Everyone is thinking, ‘I am very comfortable at home. I have got my wife. I have got my children. I have got my bank balance. I have got so many things. I have got my nation, community. I am secure. I am secure.’ Why he is thinking like that? Pramatta: mad, madman. That is described:

piśācī pāile yena mati-cchanna haya
māyā-grasta jīvera se dasa upadaya
(Prema-vivarta 1)

Ghostly haunted, every one of us. This māyā-grasta, one who is under the influence of this material energy, just like…, exactly like a man who is ghostly haunted. Ghostly haunted. Perhaps some of you have seen a man ghostly haunted. He talks all nonsense. Similarly, the māyā-grasta jīva, those who are in this material…, too much absorbed in the bodily concept of life, without any self-realization… Everyone is thinking like madman, that ‘These things will give me protection.’ Because he has become mad, pramatta. Pramatta. Teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanam. You are fighting with soldiers. That’s all right. But if you know, ‘All my soldiers will die,’ then what is the use of your fighting? Or you take some means that your fighting will be victorious. No. They do not know. Teṣāṁ nidhanaṁ pramattaḥ…, teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanaṁ paśyann api na paśyati. Seeing every moment,

ahany ahani lokāni
gacchantīha yamālayam
śeṣāḥ sthāvaram icchanti
kim āścaryam ataḥ param
(Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.116)

Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was inquired, ‘What is the most astonishing thing in this world?’ Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, he was very advanced, spiritually realized king. He immediately replied, ‘This is the most wonderful thing, that everyone is thinking that “I shall live.” ’ Ahany ahani lokāni gacchanti. He is seeing. He is seeing every moment that somebody has died and he is going to the crematorium or to the somewhere else, but he is thinking that ‘I am sure. I am secure. I am in safety position.’ This is the most wonderful thing. And the same thing is repeated here: teṣāṁ nidhanaṁ paśyann api na paśyati, the closing the eyes. They cannot give you any protection…

They do not know this. They do not know this. They think that ‘I am very well situated. I have got very good balance. I am born in a nice nation,’ or community or society. ‘I have got wife, my children. They will give me protection.’ They will not give you protection. Nobody will give you protection. You have to protect yourself. Everyone is responsible for his own work. Nobody will be responsible for your work.“

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Delhi, November 7, 1973)

Devotee: …from his fallible soldiers.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Devotee: Fallible soldiers.

Prabhupāda: Fallible soldier? Yes.

Devotee: Sometimes I say to young boys, “You are seeking protection from your parents in your childhood, and then, when you grow old or when you grow older, they will want protection from you, because they will become old and feeble. So where is the protection? There is actually no protection.” And everyone can easily understand that.

Prabhupāda: Protection is ultimately Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: It is all false thought that “He is giving me protection. He is giving me…”

Devotee: Yes. And the same person who is giving me protection, later he will ask me for protection, and then I will ask somebody else…

Prabhupāda: No, no, even when the father-mother is supposed to give protection, that is also not right conclusion. Otherwise there are so many fathers and mothers who is giving protection to his children. The father-mother, when the child is sick, the father-mother gives all—one who has got means—best medicine, best medical treatment, but the child dies. Where is the protection?

Devotee: Yes. Even that is…

Prabhupāda: It is not possible.

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Vrindavan, April 9, 1976)

“We don’t believe in material protection, like so-called family, friends, etc. Dehapatya-kalatradisu, atmasainyassv asatsv api, tesam pramatto nidhanam, pasyann api na pasyati. ‘Persons devoid of atma-tattva do not inquire into the problems of life, being too attached to the fallible soldiers like the body, children, wife, etc. Although sufficiently experienced, still they do not see their inevitable destruction’ (SB 2.1.4). We do strongly believe in Krsna’s protection. Real, spiritual protection is firm faith in Krishna. So go on with your real life as Krishna’s devotee.”

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 12, 1977)