By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

harinama on beach

Ahankāra-vimūdhātmā kartāham iti manyate [Bg. 3.27]. The rascal, he is bewildered, vimūdhātmā, on account of false egotism. Just like we are inviting everyone: Please come and learn Bhagavad-gitā. “Huh! Bhagavad-gitā, let us go the sea and swim and surf.” They are taking so much trouble. I have seen in Hawaii that for hours together, they are struggling with waves. I’ve seen it South Africa also. They are very fond of this surf sporting. So they are wasting so much time and laboring so hard just to become a fish. Yes, they are going to be a fish. Because at the time of death they’ll think of “How I am jumping in the water and surfing.” That is natural. Sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitah [Bg. 8.6]. Because he has constantly thought over his sporting, naturally he’ll think of sporting in the water at the time of death. So when this gross body is finished, his mental, intellectual and false ego will carry him to become a fish. Then he will have full freedom to jump within water and go against the waves – even a small fish can go against the waves. There is a Hindi poetry that a small fish can go against the big waves, whereas a big elephant is washed away. This is practical. If you put an elephant in big waves, he will be washed away. But a small fish can go against the waves. It is expert. The example is given that the fish, although it is very small, it is of the water and under the water. Therefore it is so powerful and can go against the waves.

That means āshraya – taking shelter. If one takes shelter of the supreme powerful, he also becomes powerful. The small fish has no power, but because it has taken shelter of the water, it can go against big waves, whereas a big elephant, he’ll be washed away, because he has not taken shelter of the water. On the land the elephant is very powerful, but in the water he has no power. So according to different circumstances, we become powerful. A person, he was given the opportunity of human birth to understand God and understand his position in relationship with God. So they won’t care to take instruction about these features of life. They’ll waste their time as a big swimmer in the water and the result will be that he will become a fish. It is nature’s law…. You are giving up this body. That’s a fact. You are leaving this body. Now what is your position? That will depend on the nature’s law. Your body is finished. Now you are completely under nature’s law. So whatever nature’s law allow, you have to accept. Your so-called education, so-called prestigious position, everything will be finished. You cannot do anything. Prakrteh kriyamānāni gunaih karmāni sarvaśah [Bg. 3.27].

Discuss amongst yourselves. This is the point. We have got a short duration of life, and we declare independence of the laws of nature, laws of God, and do whatever we like, and as a result of our activities, we are obliged to accept a body which is not desirable. Then where is my independence? Why do they think they are independent and act independently? Is it not foolishness? Discuss amongst yourselves.

One is a Prime Minister and in his next life, on account of his sinful activities, if he becomes a dog in the same land, then what is the benefit? Everyone will treat him as dog, even though somebody knows: “This dog was formerly our prime minister.” Then what is the benefit? To remain in the prime minister’s post, and next life he’s going to be a dog, then what is the benefit?

[An excerpt from a conversation on June 8, 1976 in Los Angeles]

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