Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.6
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Paris, June 14, 1974

Nitai: “The highest perfection of human life, achieved either by complete knowledge of matter and spirit, by practice of mystic powers, or by perfect discharge of occupational duty, is to remember the Personality of Godhead at the end of life.”

Prabhupada: Ante narayana-smrtih. At the time of death, if you can remember Narayana—Narayana or Krsna, the same thing—then your life is successful, whatever you do. In Bengal there is a proverb, it is called bhajana kara sadhana kara murte janle hoya.(?) Means you may be very big stalwart spiritualist or yogis, or there are so many big, big things, so whatever you do, that is all right. Because they say that “Everything is leading to the Supreme, this way or that way.” That has been described here, sankhya-yoga, karma-yoga, jnana-yoga or dhyana-yoga. So many things they have manufactured, that’s all right. And you say that “Whatever path we may follow, ultimately we go to the same goal.” That is very nice, provided if you actually go to the same goal. Otherwise, it is misleading. That is describe here, that never mind. You say that “Whatever path one may take, it leads to the same goal.” We accept it. That is described here. Ante narayana-smrtih. Whatever you have done may be very good, but at the time of death, if you forget Narayana, then it’s all useless, all useless.

Because that is the point, at the time of death what is your mentality. At that time, if your mentality is Narayana, then it is successful. You will be transferred to the spiritual world and be associates with the Narayana. You get the complete perfection. But at the time of death, if you think of your dog, then you go to become a dog. Finished. All your sankhya-yoga and philosophy and yoga practice—all go to hell. You become a dog. That is wanted. So unless you practice… If… That is the point, that one has to remember Narayana at the time of death. Then why not directly practice? This is practice. The Deity is there, the form of Narayana, or Krsna, is there. If you always be engaged in Lord Krsna’s service, you have got the impression of Krsna always within your heart. And if you continue it some way or other, then your life is successful. Otherwise big, big talks, nose pressing and keeping the head down, and… You can do that, waste your time in that way. But whether it is guaranteed that at the time of your death you shall remember Krsna or Narayana? That is wanted. Ante narayana-smrtih. The Sukadeva Gosvami says, the authority says.

So this Bengali proverb… So bhajana kara sadhana kara murte janla haya.(?) You are very good transcendentalist. You are practicing so many nice things. That’s all right. But do you know how to die? That is the point. If you die with God consciousness, Krsna consciousness, then your life is successful. (reads:) So “Narayana is the transcendental Personality of Godhead beyond the material creation.” Narayana is not a person. The Mayavadis say, “Narayana is also person like us. So I can remember anyone. I can remember my wife, I can remember my husband or my child. Still, I am going to the same goal.” No, no, no. That is not possible. Therefore it is particularly said, ante narayana-smrtih. Not your other friend or other demigod or other, no. Narayana-smrtih. So “Everything that is created, sustained and at the end annihilated is within the compass of mahat-tattva and material principle.” Anything.

That… In another place it is said that,

dharmah svanusthitah pumsam visvaksena-kathasu yah notpadayed yadi ratim srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]

That is also referred here that etavan sankhya-yogabhyam. Big, big sannyasis, they are discussing sankhya-yoga, metaphysics. Or analyzing what is spirit, what is matter. Neti neti: “Not this.” This is called sankhya-yoga. And sankhya-yoga, original sankhya-yoga means bhakti-yoga. Because the sankhya-yoga system philosophy was spoken by Kapiladeva, the son of Devahuti. That is purely bhakti-yoga. Later on, one atheist, he also assumed the name of Kapila and discussed sankhya-yoga. That is materialistic analysis. The sankhya-yoga system of philosophy is very much liked in Europe and Western countries because it is a system of metaphysics, analyzing the whole cosmic manifestation. There are twenty-four tattvas. Just like these five tattvas, elements, material: earth, water, air, fire, ether. Then ten senses: five senses for acquiring knowledge and five senses for enjoying. And the five, five, ten. And five elements, fifteen. Then five principles of enjoyment. They are called talk, touching, smelling, like that. Anyway, there are twenty-four elements, and mind, intelligence, ego, and the principal, soul. In this way there are twenty-four elements. The sankhya yogis, they very much analyze this study. They are of the opinion that besides these twenty-four elements, there is nothing more. No. There is. The twenty-four elements, one who is combining and annihilating, that is the Supreme Lord, pradhana, Visnu.

So sankhya-yoga, either you take this Kapiladeva’s philosophical principle or that Kapiladeva, that’s all right. But after analyzing, if you do not find out Narayana, the creator of this material atmosphere, material elements, then it is useless laboring so much, hard, for analyzing. Just like the chemist or physicist, they are also analyzing the material elements within the laboratory. But that does not mean they are going to all be liberated at the end of life. No. Or if you want to be liberated… Because after all, you are spirit soul. You are entangled with these twenty-four elements. So your real business is how to get out of it. That is wanted. Suppose if you are a diseased fellow, or you analyze the disease. Just like in the, what is called, pathology. It is called pathology. The doctor examine your blood and he finds out, “This is infection, that is infection, this is this, this is this.” That’s all right. But simply by understanding the blood analysis, pathology, does not mean it is cured. The cure is different. Similarly, these sankhya-yogi philosophers, they may analyze very critically. Even they can count the atoms which is composing this whole material atmosphere. But that does not mean you have understood the original force which has created all these things. That is discussed here. Etavan sankhya-yogabhyam. So you become a very big scientist, very big physicist, chemist. That is all right. But you must know how to remember Narayana at the time of your death.

An interesting story has been described by our Satsvarupa Maharaja in the Back to Godhead: The learned scholar and the boatman. The boatman… In Bengal there are many rivers, and so people generally transport by boat service. So a learned scholar from Calcutta, say, was going home in the village on a boat, and he was very happy. So he was asking the boatman, “My dear boatman, do you know what are these stars, the astronomy, how they are working?” “No, sir, I do not know.” “Oh, your life is twenty-five percent lost. You do not know anything.” Then after some time, “You know the geology, how this earth, water, they are working?” “No, sir, I am poor man. What can I know?” “Oh, your fifty percent of your life is lost.” Then all of a sudden there was a cloud, black cloud on the sky, and there was storm. Then at that time the boatman asked, “Sir, do you know how to swim?” “No, I do not know.” “Then one hundred percent you have lost.(laughter) You are going to be drowned.” He jumped and he drowned.

So this is the point. So you are trying to understand the whole analytical study of the material world. That is very good. But if you do not know how to remember Narayana at the time of death, then you are going to be cats and dogs. That’s all. Because you are very fond of dog. Especially in the Western countries, every gentleman, every lady has a dog. So what will you think at the time of death? Dog. So that is nature’s law. Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6] You will find in the Bhagavad-gita. At the time of death, the mental condition which you have created, that will carry you to the next body. Therefore don’t create your mind doggish. Make it Krsna conscious. And that is very nice. Then at the time of death you remember Krsna and you will be transferred to the Krsnaloka. That is described: etavan sankhya-yogabhyam. Therefore it is advised, “Whatever you may be, it doesn’t matter. Practice Krsna consciousness. That will save you.” Otherwise… Janma-labhah parah pumsam. Janma-labhah parah pumsam ante.

This janma-labhah parah. Janma-labhah. Janma-labhah means getting a type of births. So there are different types of birth. The so- called scientists, physicists, they do not know why there are so many varieties of life. Why not only human being? Why there is cat, there is dog, there is rat, there is fly, and there is serpent, there is tree, there is creeper, there is fish, there is so many, 8,400,000 species of life? So they are also taking their birth by father and mother. The insect or the cats and dog or human being, the process of birth is the same, father and mother, anywhere you go. Therefore one Vaisnava poet has sung, janame janame sabe pita mata paya, krsna guru nahi mile bhaja hari ei. Everywhere, either you take birth as man or cat or dog or insect, there is father, mother. Father, mother you will get in any type of birth, but not guru and Krsna. Therefore this birth is meant for achieving guru and Krsna. Father, mother you will get, anyone. Even you become a serpent there is father and mother. That is the way of birth. Therefore janmana jayate sudrah. Even in human society, every man is born a sudra. Samskarad bhaved dvijah. He requires a second birth, by samskara, reforming. Just like we give second birth, initiation. The second birth, the father is the spiritual master and the mother is the Vedas. As the first birth is taken by the material father and mother, similarly, second birth, dvija is possible by the spiritual master, the father and Vedic knowledge, mother. This father, mother. So that is required. That is possible in the human form of life. A cat is born by father and mother; you are also born by father… But the cat is not, dog is not eligible to take the second father and mother. That is not possible.

So if we do not take the privilege of accepting the second father and mother, then what is the difference between your birth and dog’s birth? That is stated: janma-labhah parah pumsam. You have got this human form of body, the best body. That is the instruction of all Vedic literature, simply stressing. But what is this material civilization? Simply working like cats and dogs. The same eating, sleeping, sex intercourse and defending. There are so many buildings in your city, Paris. Where is the culture to make the human life perfect? You have got very nice building. There is intelligence. So many nice buildings. People come to see the building. But that is not all. Simply if you utilize your intelligence… Certainly there is intelligence. But if you use your intelligence for the simply material activities, then you are not intelligent. You are a fool.

That is described here. Janma-labhah parah pumsam. You must make a cultural institution where people may take education how to remember Narayana at the time of death. That is required. Otherwise useless. What is the value? You waste your so much time to construct a very nice house, but at the time of death, you could not remember Narayana. You remember your very nice friend, dog. Then what is the value? What is the value? They do not understand this, that there is life after death. Dehino ’smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara, tatha dehantara-praptih: [Bg. 2.13] “As you are changing your body from childhood to boyhood, boyhood…” It is very simple philosophy. The rascal will not understand. I am changing my body. You may say “Growth or…” But it is changed. I had a childhood body; that body is different from my this present body. It is changed. Therefore I have already changed my body so many ways, so many times. And I change my body after this body is no more useful. That is going on. No more useful. That is the… The example is given. I am putting on this sweater, but when it is torn, no more useful, I get it up. I get another, new. Vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya navani grhnati naro ’parani [Bg. 2.22]. Everything is clearly stated. This is dress only. This body is dress. Therefore we do not give on the bodily dress. We give stress on the soul. We do not make any distinction that “This is Hindu dress, Muslim dress, Christian dress, white dress, black dress.” No, no, we have nothing to do with the dress. We have to do with the soul within the dress. He is part and parcel of Krsna. He has forgotten Krsna. Therefore he is suffering.

Therefore our movement is to revive this Krsna consciousness and go back to home, back to Godhead. This is Krsna consciousness movement, ante narayana-smrtih. So it is very important movement. Those who are very intelligent, they can take to it. Or you become intelligent or not intelligent, but know, at least, unless one is pious, he cannot take to this movement. But somehow or other, if you take this movement, then your this valuable life is successful. Janma-labhah parah pumsam. It is not cats’ and dogs’ life. It is human form of… Utilize it properly. Properly means to become Krsna conscious, not dog conscious, cat conscious or this conscious or… No. These will not help you. Krsna conscious. Then you will be able to remember Krsna at the time of death and your this valuable life is properly utilized. Janma-labhah parah pumsam. You have got very nice valuable body, but it will be properly utilized if you learn how to remember Narayana at the time of death.

Thank you very much. (end)