While Bhishmadev was describing occupational duties the sun’s cords ran into the Northern hemisphere. This period is desired by mistakes who die at their will.
There upon that man who spoke on different subjects with thousands of meanings and who fought on thousands of battle fields and protected thousands of man stopped speaking and being completely free from all bondage with drew his mind from everything else and fixed his wide open eyes upon the original personality of godhead Shri Krishna who stood before him four handed dressed in yellow garments that glittered and shined.
On this day today the auspicious occasion is taking place of Makar Sankranti. It is the day when the sun enters into the Northern hemisphere. It is time in Alahabad millions upon millions of people are coming to bathe at the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Jamuna, Saraswati, on this auspicious day. During the art of Kumbhamela. Here we are reading from the Shrimad Bhagavatam one of the most blessed and wonderful pastime that took place at this time. The passing of Bhishma day that great heir old Kuru dynasty. Bhishmadev after the battle of Kurukshetra was lying on a bed of arrows. Although he was the greatest worrier in all of the world because he was on the side which apposed dharma, he was destroyed. Some people wonder how is it possible that such a great devotee is Bhishmadev would fight on the side against the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna. It is actually a great mystery. Because Bhishmadev is one of the twelve Mahajans that means along with Shiva, Bhrahma, Yamaraj, Narada, Shukadev, Pralhad, and others he is considered one of the twelve supreme authorities of the absolute truth.
It is said that the only way to understand the truth and to know the essence of the Vedas is to follow in the footsteps of these twelve great Mahajans. To follow in the footsteps of the Mahajans, it is that mean we should follow in the footsteps of the Bhishma and take the side against Krishna?. To take the side of irreligion. To assist such an envious person like Dhyrnodhana and fight against great worriers like Arjuna and Yudhisthira. The Shasthra and the Acharyas explain how Bhishma was acting in a mood of complete surrender to Lord Shri Krishna. Because when Krishna wants to teach a lesson to the world he teaches it through his greatest devotees. It is said that when a housewife wants to teach her daughter-in-law she instructs her daughter in such a way that that the daughter-in-law could hear. Similarly Krishna wanted to teach a lesson. That however intelligent we are, however powerful we are, however influential we are, if we are apposed to the will of the Lord we will be defeated and destroyed. And in order to make this lesson very powerful he took the most powerful man on all the earth Bhishma and from within his heart directed him to take the side of Dhuryodhana and Kurus. And although Bhishma knew exactly what he was to do and that he will be misunderstood and deafened by unintelligent people throughout history he was willing to even accept such humiliation if that was the will of Lord Shri Krishna. That is the nature of real surrender and humility. But Krishna leela heard of Bhishma and therefore he rewarded Bhishma with the greatest of all benedictions. This we are about to discuss this evening. It is described in the Shrimad Bhagavat that after the battle of Kurukshetra Yudhisthira Maharaj was feeling very despondent. He was already his king, but he was thinking that so many people died because of him and he was thinking that there was nothing in the world that he could do atom for sinful activities. This is the nature of a humble devotee. A materialist person is always to give blame to others and never take the blame for himself. We never want to admit our false. Even when we are covered by so many false. I think we all have this experience, yes or no?. When we do something nice we want credit. And someone else does something nice we want that credit also. When someone does something wrong we like to give them blame. And when we do something wrong we like to give someone else the blame. Sometimes you are like this, no? that is the nature of the human mind and ego. But Yudhisthira as a great devotee is just the opposite. Whatever great things he did he gave all credit to Krishna. He understood that nothing could be done without the grace of Krishna. Without the grace of Krishna Bhagavan we cannot speak we cannot move, we cannot think, we cannot breathe. Foolish people take credit for their activities, but those who understand the truth are always grateful to Krishna. That is fundamental knowledge. What can you do without the help of god? We have not created our eyes or our tongue or our ears or our hands or our brain or our heart. We have not created the sun and the rain and the air that maintains us. We are simply taking the gifts of god and taking the abilities that god has given us and then we take the credit for ourselves. Krishna explains in Gita Sarvalokamaheshwara, that he is the proprietor of everything and ultimately he is the doer of everything. But we have the choice whether we want to do it as a loving exchange to the Supreme or as a service to our own illusioned ego. But we take to the path of devotion we actually live honestly. For Maharaj Yudhisthira he gave all credit to Krishna, but even when Dhuryodhana, Dhushyasana, Dhritarasthra were so terribly envious, so unjust they created so much criminal atrocities upon the Pandavas that this war of Kurukshetra had to be fought. After all Yudhisthira was the right to the whole kingdom of the world. But it was unfairly by Dhuryodhana. And Dhuryodhana was approached by Yudhisthira through Krishna himself. He said although the kingdom is meant to be mine you can have the whole thing just give each of brothers one village, five small villages. And Dhuryodhana who was so fearful and so angrious he responded that I will not give you enough land to control that you can put the head of a needle through. And he tried to murder them, he tried to humiliate them, he cheated them and gambling so many terrible things. But Yudhisthira Maharaj took all the blame upon himself. He claimed that actually Dhritarasthra was very nice. It is all my fault and look at how so many people had to die because of him. Such a soft gentle heart. So Krishna brought Yudhisthira Maharaj to the battle field of Kurukshetra where Bhishmadev was lying on the bed of arrows. Bhishma had the benediction from his father Maharaj Shantanu that he would only die when he decided that he want to die. He was so undefeatable in the battle field that Yudhisthira and his brothers had to approach Bhishma and ask if we do not defeat you, all our armies will be destroyed and we are fighting for Krishna, we are fighting for dharma, unless you tell us how you can be defeated we will lose. So Bhishma he began to smile and radiate great joy. He said this is very good. I will tell you how you can destroy me. Unless I tell you I am undefeatable. And he systematically in great detail explained how they could to defeat him. And he told them “tomorrow you must do it because if you don’t I will destroy your whole army”. Arjuna was the only person powerful enough to penetrate the body of Bhishma with his arrows. First Bhishma explained to bring Shikhandi before him and then he told Arjuna from my neck to my feet you have to fill my body with arrows that go in one side and out the other side and there should not be enough space to put even one finger between the arrows. So they came before him in the battle field and Bhishma was very happy. Today nice auspicious activity will take place. Today the world will see how the greatest heir when all creation is defeated when he apposes Krishna. Today Krishna will be glorified. So he told Arjuna shoot. Arjuna loved him, he was his most well-wishing grandfather. He began to shoot but there were tears of love in his eyes and he could not shoot very strong. So they were not penetrating him. Bhishma was telling Arjuna shoot harder with all young might. And with his blessings he covered his body with arrows. And then Bhishma very graciously with the thought of Bhagavan in his mind he laid down on the battle field. And on that day both sides stopped fighting to offer their pranam obeisance’s to Bhishma. And then the rest of the battle took place and sometime later Yudhisthira was coronated, but Bhishma was still laying there waiting for Krishna to return. He would not meet this world without the beautiful darshan of Krishna. He wanted to teach all living beings how to perfect their lives. So Krishna took Yudhisthira who was the mending to Bhishmadev along with his brothers and along with all the great saints and rishis in the whole universe. Vyas, Narada, Sita, Devala, Parashuram, Bharadwaj Muni all the great saints wanted to be there to see the auspious departure of the world from Bhishma. So when Bhishma saw that Yudhisthira was in distress he began to explain wonderful words of wisdom. How is it that Yudhisthira was the emblem of dharma had to suffer in so many injustices. And how is it that Kuntidevi the mother of the Pandavas had to indoor so many terrible harm sufferings in her life. Kunti who’s heart was so pure who was such a exothetic great devotee of the lord. Even the greatest philosophers cannot comprehend the inconceivable will of the Supreme Lord. But he explained that in this world invincible time controls everything and everyone. And no one can escape from the clutch of time. Whoever will may be by the power of time will lose everything. And time is none other than representative of Bhagavan in this world. All powerful, controller of everything and everyone. And then Bhishma began to explain that this powerful time factor although it consumes everything material it works always in favor of the lords devotees. Because in the end Krishna reveals to his devotee his eternal nature beyond time. So if you think that you can make a comfortable situation in this world that will indoor you are in great illusion. On the material platform whether you are pies or impies you must suffer. Whether you perform good karma or bad karma you have to suffer. It can not be avoided. If you perform good karma, you get some temporary relief from that suffering and if you commit bad karma you are just plunged in terrible anxieties. But old age, disease, and death come upon everywhere. So what to do. We must understand what is truth. You are not these bodies. These bodies are temporary coverings of eternal soul. Dhuryodhana lived only for the service of his body and his mind and his ego. Yudhisthira lived for the service of god. They both suffered. But one in the end attained eternal extastic love and devotion. And one died in miserable death. So what is our aim in life? Krishna explains in Gita
We should abandon all verities of religion and surrender to Krishna. He will be of all simple reactions. In this state there is no fear. This is the purpose of life. This is the only solution to the problems of life. Our Guru Maharaj use to say that there is only one problem in this world. And that is a lack of Krishna consciousness. And there is only one solution to the problems of this world and that is Krishna consciousness. How is this? There are so many so many problems in this world. There are so many terrible diseases. There are so many problems with social dissension. There are so many problems with drought, floods, earthquakes, and volcanos. There are so many problems with mental anxieties drug addiction, alcoholism, air pollution, water pollution, land pollution, land pollution, building of nuclear bombs everywhere. Even the most technically advanced computers in the world are never list even a fraction of all the problems of phasing human existence. But all these problems are due to illusion. Because actually we are the eternal soul with part of Krishna. It is because we have forgotten that, that all these problems come upon us. This is the world of problems. You cannot solve them. The best you can do is place if from shoulder to the next. There is a story like that. It was about a man and he was carrying a big boat on his right shoulder. He was a working man and it was so painful. His shoulder was aching so bad. He was praying to god to help him. He was prudently praying to god. So god came and said “oh you have prayed to me now any then benediction you desire I will award you”. And he said “please oh mighty lord please help move this load from right shoulder to my left shoulder”. So this is materialistic religion. We pray to god to give us some material relief from material benediction. But everything material is the source of misery in due course of time. Why should be asked god for those things. We should ask the god to take it off. There is another story of a sadhu, he was living in the jungle and he was walking. So many days he was walking and he became very tired. So he began to pray to god “please send me a hoarse” so within minutes a beautiful lady hoarse started walking just in front of him and he was thinking oh god is so mercy. So he got on the hoarse and he started riding on the hoarse and he was so happy. This is real sadhu life, riding on hoarse. But he became very attached to the hoarse. And he felt obliged to take care of the hoarse because the hoarse was doing so much for him. The hoarse was pregnant and after some months a little baby hoarse was born. So he still had to go on his pilgrimage. What to do of the baby hoarse. So he put the baby hoarse over his back and shoulders and was carrying the baby hoarse while he was walking. Terrible terrible difficulty. And then he began to sing a beautiful song. Oh my lord Shri Ram who can understand your inconceivable mercy. I pray to you to be carried by a hoarse and now I am carrying a hoarse. So that is the nature of this world. Krishna explains that this material existence is endlessly mutable. We should not approach god for these things. We should approach god for one benediction that will be stow real pleasure in our lives. To always think of him with love. To remember him always in our life and to remember him at the time of death. Because Krishna tells us.
That what you remember at the time of death you will attain without fail. Bhishma was instructing Yudhisthira Maharaj in so many subjects. He taught him about the Varanashram dharma. God’s worship, not man’s worship. Varanashram dharma is today called the caste system. It is a perfect scientific meanings of organizing society so that every one perfects their life in harmony with one another.
Krishna tells us in Gita that I have created this system of Varana and Ashram and it is to be determined by ones activities and ones qualities. According to ones activities and ones qualities one works according to certain spiritual principles. But what has happened toady? Such a wonderful and perfect gift of god has become so much distorted by the wicked minds of man. Krishna says nothing about janma or birth. One is categorized as brahman, kshatriya, or vaishava shudra, a bhrahmacharya grihastha vanaprastha or sanyas by ones natural inclinations and ones ability to perform certain functions not by ones birth. But what happened is long ago brahmans who did not want to live according to the principles of brahmans wanted a recognition and the profits of brahmans. Therefore they created this misconception that because we are born brahmans we must be respected. But in the Gita Krishna explains what are the qualities of a brahman kshatriya vaishnava and shudra. As brahman is always peaceful, he is austere, content with little or nothing. Never accepts employment from anyone. It is very learned in the scripture. He is compassionate and is willing to live with nothing as a service to society. That is a brahman. It is not a matter of buying a thread for fifty pisa. It has nothing to do with being born in a brahman family. One who has and lives by those qualities is brahman. And what is a Kshatriya. Kshatriya is one who is willing to go and to come back and risk his life for the sake of protecting innocent people and he is thoroughly honest. Where do we find politicians like that today? Krishna created a system if followed this world would be a kingdom of god. Because this society is compared to a body. The body has head, the body has arms, and the body has belly and legs. They all work together to serve. For the purpose of the whole body. The purpose of human life is meant to realize god, to serve god. So every aspect of society is meant to work together harmoniously for this purpose only. But now we find so much conflict not only in India, but all over the world. Communism means the working class ones power. Capitalism means the vaishays want power. Brahmanism means the brahmans want power. Dictatorship means the kshatriya wants power. That the real caste system is for everyone no one wants power. Everyone wants to serve the all powerful Krishna. So Bhishma explained in great detail this Varanashram system. He also explained ha the proper process of giving in charity, the proper responsibilities of a ruler, and how to achieve the perfection of life. As he was discussing these things the sun entered into the Northern hemisphere. As it is doing today. And he realized that this is an auspious time to leave this world. So he with drew his mind and senses and began to look unblinking with wide open eyes at the beautiful form of Sri Krishna. And as he was looking upon Krishna tears began to flow from his eyes. And he will begin to remember the mercy of Krishna and he spoke that “Krishna you are original Supreme personality of god and you will have so mercifully come to me in this far off place just to be giving being your mercy at the time of my death. And he began to remember the beautiful beautiful pastimes of the lord and how he shows so much love and affection to his devotees. Arjuna was telling the supreme controller of all controllers pull my chariot between these two armies and Krishna said “yes” and he did the save of his devotees. And how when Arjuna was completely the builder Krishna spoke the beautiful words of Bhagavat-Gita to pacify his devotees. And Bhishma was remembering while he was laying on his death during his last moments how during the battle of Kurukshetra Krishna promised he would not lift a weapon and he would not fight. But Bhishma wowed that I will force Krishna to break his wow. Now you may ask what kind of devotee is this? The most wonderful devotee. Bhishma fought with Arjuna in such a way that Arjuna was on the verge of being killed by Bhishma. At that time Krishna lifted a chariot wheel, body covered with the dust raised by the hoods the hoarses, perspiration covering his beautiful transcendental body and he rusted Bhishma to destroy him and Bhishma surrendered. He wanted to show the world that Krishna loves his devotee more than he loves himself. He is willing to break his own wow to protect his devotee. Krishna is bhatkavatsa. He is always subordinate to the love of those who love him. Bhishma was remembering how he was piercing Krishna with arrows what kind of devotee is this who shoots arrows into lord. But Bhishma had a with Krishna and he was fully aware of Krishna’s transcendental body which is Sachchidanand. And as he was shooting arrows at Krishna and they were piercing Krishna’s body Krishna was feeling these arrows just like he feels the flower pedals hitting his body that are being thrown by the devotees, because they were being offered with love and devotion. Do not think you can imitate Bhishma, unless you have the realization, and no one has ever had such a realization except Bhishma. And he was remembering the Gopis of Brindavan. How and Krishna rasa dance how the braja gopis were so much totally immersed in loving him that they just lost all sense of external reality and their hearts just merged into love and affection for Shri Krishna. And how he reciprocated and rewarded them the supreme exastacy of prema. In this way completely immersing his mind and remembering Krishna his eyes seeing Krishna his lips glorifying Krishna. He with drew his breath and he so departed spiritual world. All is well that ends well. We remember Krishna at the time of our death our life if perfect. But you cannot remember Krishna at the time of death unless you learn to remember him throughout your entire life.
Krishna said all the knowledge of all the great scriptures of the world is only to know me.
Always think of me, become my devotee worship me offer your homage to me and this way Krishna says you will come to me without fail. So we should not approach god for material benediction. Because he even a getting material benediction. We should not approach god for something cheap when we can get something so great. The greatest thing is Bhakti, devotion. Because it was only true that devotion, that we can find real pleasure and real fulfillment in our life. Bhishma’s only prayer to the lord at the time of his death was let me always remember you and be your servant. That is the perfection of human existence. That same Krishna who resort the supreme benediction upon Bhishma appears again in this age of Kali as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He taught us how to be free from all material illusions and suffering and how to always remember Krishna to the simple process of chanting of Krishna’s name. Here in Kolhapur is the beautiful temple of Mahalaxmi. The supreme goddess of fortune. How she departed from Vaikuntha loka and come to this place in Maharasthra to perform tapasya. And in her tapasya she was constantly immersed and meditating on the lotus feet of her beloved lord Shri Krishna, Lord Narayan. So this is the summon substance of Lord Chaitanya’s devotees. Krishna is none different in his name whoever we are it does not matter whether we are educated or uneducated, whether we are men or women, old or young whether we are rich or poor. Krishna’s name is valuable to all. We can remember Krishna and love in any circumstances by simply calling out his holy names.
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare
By hearing Bhagavad-Gita Shimad Bhagavat associating with devotees of lord sadhus we develop the conviction by which our minds are not carried away by the material illusions and we can keep our mind always fixed on the lotus feet of Krishna’s holy name. Thank you very much. Any questions? Our Guru Maharaj would tell us what is the supreme of all questions. Would you like to learn this today? If you would like to learn raise your hands and say “Hari bol”. We can ask so many philosophical questions, but they all comminute in one final question of life. My dear lord how can I serve you. That is the final question. When all other questions are answered and what is the answer.
You can serve me by always remembering me. By serving my devotees. By chanting my holy name.
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare
To give the charity of the holy name to others is the greatest welfare work. To give a person the means by which they can be relieved of all suffering and death itself is the greatest gift of life. We can give this gift to our children to our parents to our friends to everyone. This is the greatest need in our society today. There is no shortage of food, but because of greed the people are exploiting the resources of the world and artificially creating shortage. We must eradicate this disease of greed for. With the charity of Krishna’s name all of these diseases of lust and the pride, anger, greed, and illusion are healed they are dissipated and the natural love of the soul awakens. That is greatest need in human society. So on this day of Makara Sankranti let us follow in the footsteps of Bhishmadev. I am not asking all of you to die today. Not physically abased. And let us have our false egos die today, by remembering Krishna intimately with beautiful sound of his name.