FAMILY LIFE HAS NO MEANING – IT IS JUST LIKE A GATHERING OF STRAWS AND INSECTS

atha viśveśa viśvātman viśva-mūrte svakesu me
sneha-pāśam imam chindhi drdham pāndusu vrsnisu

[SB 1.8.41 – Click here to see English Translation]

Bolton girls carrying Hare Krishna mantra sign

So Kuntī is praying. The prayer is very peculiar. What is that peculiar prayer? The prayer is sneha-pāśam imam. Pāśam means “rope.” We are bound up by the ropes of affection to the family. This family or that family, everyone is bound up. Ato grha-ksetra-sutāpta-vittair janasya moho ‘yam [SB 5.5.8].

This family combination is māyā because we all, living entities, we are being washed away by the waves of material nature. Prakrteh kriyamānāni gunaih karmāni sarvaśah [Bg. 3.27]. So just like the waves of the river carry so many straws scattered here and there, and sometimes by whirlwind, all the straws meet together in the water, so our meeting—”I am the father. You are the son. She is the wife. He is the grandson,” or “He is father,” or “She is…”—in this way, our mixing up in a group of family is exactly like the assembly of some straws in the waves of the river. It has no meaning.

Just like the straws, they gather together by the movement of the waves, and again, by the movements of waves, the straws are scattered here and there, here and there, here and… Nowadays it is very practical. Just like I am an Indian – I have my family. You are European, you are American. You have got family. But now where we are from, the family, we scattered. This is practical. We no more have any connection with our father, mother or children. No. We are now gathered in another group – Krishna conscious society.

So this is māyā. Janasya moho ‘yam aham mameti [SB 5.5.8]. We gather exactly like the straws, and on account of māyā’s influence, we become very much attached: “Oh, here is my son. Here is my wife. Here is my family. Here is my…” And this is called entanglement.

Our main business is in the human form of life is, “how to get out of this material world”. They do not know. They not only create family but also society, community, nation and in this way we are embarrassed. The so-called nationalism, socialism and communism is simply moha, or illusion, exactly the same way as the small, that insects, under some illusion, moha, they come to the light and sacrifice their life.

I have told you many times. We have seen in 1947, partition days, Hindu-Muslim fighting. One party was Hindu, other party was Muslim. They fought and so many died. And after death, there was no distinction who is Hindu or who is Muslim. The municipal men, they gathered together in piles and to throw them somewhere. Exactly the same way, the same insects, they come to the light and die in the morning, and we gather them together and throw in the street.

[An excerpt from a lecture on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.41 delivered in Mayapur on October 21, 1974]

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