“All suffering is due to attachment. If you are detached, we are transcendental.” – Radhanath Swami
The body, you can pinch your body so many places; it doesn’t hurt so much. But if you have a boil, you just touch it, it is painful. Have any of you ever had boils before? If you blow on it, it is painful; even if your glance touches it, it is painful, because there is a disease there. So it is painful. So Attachment is material disease, and it causes so much suffering. What are pains of attachment? We are always in fear of losing it, and even when we have it, we are always trying to somehow other sustain it. And it’s never enough!
Radhanath Swami defines ‘real intelligence’ from the Bhagavad Gita
Therefore, Krishna tells in Gita.
ye hi saṁsparśa-jā bhogā
duḥkha-yonaya eva te
na teṣu ramate budhaḥ
The real intelligence is – do not be attached to the sources of misery which are born of contact between the senses and their objects. Such pleasures have a beginning and an end; so the wise person does not really look for pleasure in them, because they bring about this attachment, and this attachment is like a fever which distracts our focus from the real purpose of life, which is to realize the self and its relationship with God.
Radhanath Swami calls death ‘a step to bring us upward’
“Life is a flash. I was recently speaking with my father 81 years old and he told me, “Son! When I look back at my childhood, getting my first job, getting married, having three children, and I look at my whole life,” he said, “I am telling you honestly, it seems like it’s only five minutes.” Five minutes, 81 years! That is how fast life passes.” – Radhanath Swami.
So Maharaj Parikshit, he asked this most relevant of all questions. “What is the duty of the man about to die?” And factually, every living being in this world is about to die, whether it is 80 years or whether it is five minutes. It’s not that much different. The fact is, death is approaching at every second. So what will be our regrets? What will be our frustrations? What will be our fears in life or in death? We must address that; that is real intelligence, and there is only one way to overcome. Dhruva Maharaj, he completely took shelter of Krishna. Therefore, when the residents of Vaikuntha came in the airplane to take him back to Godhead, death personified became the step which Dhruva had to step on with his foot to board the plane. It’s very symbolic. Because he took shelter of Krishna, death itself became a stepping stone for him to put his feet on to elevate him to Vaikuntha. So yes. For a devotee, death is just a step, that is a good step. Steps are facility to bring us upward, back home back to Godhead. So why should we fear?!
Radhanath Swami: “Our life is service”
Prabhupad tells about that prophet. He said about a Vaishnav, “Whether you live or die, it doesn’t really matter, because you are depending on Krishna, you are serving Krishna, you are chanting Krishna’s name. Now and after death, you will be doing the same thing.” He reasons ill who say that Vaishnavas die, when thou are still living in sound. Vaishnavas die to live, and live to spread the holy name around. That is our life. Our life is service. And service is eternal. It is the eternal nature of the soul. Jivera swaroop hay Kishnera nitya das. Lord Caitanya, the first teaching to Sanatan Goswami – very broad, expansive philosophy – he taught, but this is the beginning, that we are eternal servants of Krishna. The soul is eternal, Krishna is eternal and the connection between the soul and Krishna, devotional service, is eternal. This our attachment, this is our attraction: to hear about Krishna, to chant Krishna’s name and to remember Krishna.