(Murwillumbah, Australia, January 20, 2000, am)
Once upon a time a war was going on between the demigods and the demons. The demigods came to earth in India, where there was a powerful king named Khatvanga Maharaja. They requested him to help them - to become their general, their commander. He told that, "Yes I am coming." And he went there. A very big war was there, and at last he defeated the demons. Some of them were killed and the rest ran away from there. The demigods then requested him (the king), "Whatever boon you want we will give. Anything you want we will give." The King told, "I want, really, salvation from this world, and to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead." The demigods said, "That we cannot give. You should ask another." The King said, "Then you should tell me when my death will come." They said' "Very soon. In 24 minutes." He requested that, "At once you should take him to India." They did so.
When he arrived, half of the time was gone - only 12 minutes left. He sat in the lotus position like a muni, concentrating on the lotus feet of Krishna. And thus, in a moment, he was liberated; and he had a chance to serve the lotus feet of Krishna. Even a moment can give us all this. But what are we doing? We are not engaged in pure bhakti. We have so many requirements - worldly requirements. We are busy in so much aropa-siddha bhakti to maintain our life. And we are very busy to solve these problems. As much as we try to solve these problems, more problems are coming like waves of the ocean - one by one. And we say, "Oh, if I cross this one, everything will be alright." But you see that, "Oh, more problems!"
Don't try to do all this. What to do? We should chant and remember Krishna. Oh; automatically all the waves of problems will finish. Life-maintaining will be done. We should only try to solve the problem of how we can attain the service of Krishna, especially Vraja bhakti. If you want a little money, you can attain it by a very little effort. But if you want the highest thing, then you'll have to do so much effort. Quickly it will not be achieved. And what is this Prema-bhakti? The highest thing. You'll have to give your precious time - everything - for this. You'll have to be a street beggar, no harm. And if you do this. Oh see Svamiji smiling (indicating the picture of Srila Prabhupada on the wall). Perhaps this picture is of his last days? No?
Devotee: Its in Australia on a morning walk in the botanical gardens - in Melbourne.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: What year?
Devotee: I can't remember. Early seventies - 1974.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: So he was like this in the beginning [in his early life]. He was solving so many things. Then he did like this (he raises his hands). Full surrender. If you are doing this and that, they will try to kill you. But if someone is trying to kill you and you raise your hands then.
Navina Krishna Prabhu: White flag, surrender.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: You should surrender to Krishna. He came to Mathura. He [Srila Svami Maharaja] called to the acaryas and also he was a very powerful acarya, serving all - my Gurudeva and others. And you are seeing me - I have no problem at all, no death problem either. Not any problem; never. I think that I will have nothing to solve. I am only worried for that [for you spiritual benefit]. So try to realise that.
Once after the battle of the Mahabharata, all were killed except for Krishna and the Pandava's; on the other side Krpacarya, Ashwatama, and Krtavarma were left. Practically all were killed, all. A blind person was also there to realise all these things, he who has made nearly all the problems. Who are blind? Drtarastra. At that time one was blind, and now all are blind. We have no strong faith in Krishna and Krishna bhakti. So we are all blind, and at that time only one was blind. So the war was finished, all were killed, and then Pandavas were weeping so much, lamenting that, "We have killed all. Now there are only widows in India." Only widows were there and all were crying. Yudisthira Maharaja and all Pandavas were thinking that, "We are the main cause of all destruction. Why did we do so? We will give up all this kingdom and we will be street beggars." Krishna told them, "You should be ready, we are going to visit Grandfather Bhisma." Still he was alive. For 6 months he stopped his death because he was so powerful. A boon was given to Grandfather Bhisma that he will leave his body at his own will. Otherwise death was waiting. Death was waiting for six months.
Then Krishna took all the five Pandavas and Draupadi, and then they went to Bhismapitama where he was lying on the bed of arrows. His whole body was pierced with arrows. They went there - the Pandavas and Draupadi did pranama to Pitamaha Bhisma, and they sat at his feet. And when Krishna came there, Pitama Bhisma did pranama from his eyes, because his hands and everything were pierced by arrows. So by the eyes and he prayed Krishna to sit in front of him - very near. So Krishna was sitting very near, like this, and Pandavas sat near his feet. Krishna told, "O, Pitamaha Bhisma you are such a high class of devotee, and you know all the Vaisnava tattva. So you should try to pacify them. They are very worried for that they have killed so many - all. So they are very worried."
Bhisma Pitamaha began to tell something and then when he began, Draupadi was smiling. How smiling? [hiding behind veil] There was veil here, and she was smiling. Not "Ho ho, ho.", but she was smiling. Bhisma looked at her and questioned her, "My dear daughter Draupadi, why you are laughing? I want to know." And Draupadi, in a very humble way, said, "Oh Bhisma you are going to give knowledge, but where were you when Duryodhana was trying to make me naked? You are giving such high class of knowledge but where were you then?" Bhisma very humbly told, "My dear daughter, at that time I was taking my meals from Duryodhana, the demon, so in those meals the mood of demon was there. So I was knowing all these things. But I was so weak. So, at that time I could not check him. I could not control. I thought that Duryodhana would be unhappy and that is why, by weakness, I could not. But now it has been six months. My all blood, which was made by his meals has totally gone. Not only blood, the other bodily substances - everything - has gone. And now my heart is cured, especially by the darsana of Krishna." Draupadi was satisfied. Then Bhisma pitama said, "O Maharaja Yudisthira, Bhima, Arjuna and all Pandavas; Hear carefully.
"There was a widow. She had a son of only 12 - very beautiful and qualified. The old lady used to worship and serve Deities of Narayana or anyone. So every morning she used to pick flowers, and did arcana. One day she was engaged in any other job, and she told her son, "O my dear son, you should go and pick some flowers and return. It was Brahma Muhurta, the end of the night, but it was dark. Some clouds were there. The boy went into the nearby forest and from a bush he began to pick flowers - beli, chameli, and others. As he was picking the flowers a very poisonous snake - black with a hood and big teeth - bit him, and in a moment the boy became black and fell down and died. A hunter then came that way, and saw that, for no reason that snake had bitten the boy and he died. He knew a mantra to control the snake and, taking the snake in a clay pot, he put the boy's dead body on his shoulders and went with the snake to the old lady widow. She had been waiting for her son, and then she saw, "O my son is coming." But she realised that it wasn't her son, but only his dead body. "Oh, what happened?" she said. She began to cry.
Navina Krishna Prabhu: She beat her heart.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: "O boy, what happened? He was the only stick of my blind self. (as a blind person has a stick, so the son was like a stick to help her in old age). "What happened?" She became like senseless. After some time, when she came in sense, that hunter told her, "Mother I was coming from that way. The boy was picking flowers. He did nothing, but this black serpent snake came and bit him. Now you should order me that I should at once kill and I burn it to ashes."
He said this repeatedly - two times, three times, four times - but she was only lamenting and weeping. At last she told him, "Oh hunter, if you kill this snake and burn it, will my son be alive or not?" The hunter began to think, and he replied, "Oh, your son cannot be alive." She said, "Then why are you uselessly killing him? Let the snake go free." The hunter said, " Oh I cannot do because these snakes are very wicked and always angry. Without any purpose they bite others."
The animals like them - what animals? Snakes, scorpions, rats, without any use they will cut all your cloths. And one thing also; white ants, tirmites, without any reason, without any gain, from one ant they will soon become lakhs and lakhs and they will make your roof fall. Then after some time your whole house will be finished. If you keep any cloth or anything else - they like these very precious things very much - in a moment they will take it all. So they should be killed. Otherwise, next day he will kill another, bite another and then another. So I must finish this snake. Seeing this, again she said, "O, you should not. Please set him free." But he told her, "I will not, I will kill him. Why did he bite your son?" Then he was to kill the serpent, but the serpent said, "Why are you killing me? I've done nothing. Why did I not bite others? Why only to this child? Kala came to me. Kala you know? Time came. Death came and told me, 'You should bite. Then I did it.'"
Then the hunter said, "This is not logic. If someone is biting or killing anyone, and someone else is telling, 'Oh, you should kill him'" Inspiring him to kill, ordering him to kill, both are guilty. So you must be punished and that Kala should be punished for it. But I will kill you. This is not logic."
Then at once Kala came, in the shape of a person and told him, "Oh hunter, why are you accusing me?" And he told to the serpent, "I am not the cause, I have not told. The reason is this. This boy in his past birth has done like this, and then his activities, in this form, have become kala. And I, through you, bit him. Not myself; his own activities. In this world no one in friend, no one is enemy."
So we should try to remember this. If anyone is insulting, if anyone is beating, Don't think him as an enemy. Your activities are your enemy. So your activities from now, and in the future, should be how? Not to criticise. Not to offend. Not to do anything wrong. Otherwise, your activites will come and do this. So in this world no one is enemy or anything. That is why Narada Gosvami used to go to Kamsa Maharaja, and he used to think that, "He is my guru." And after that he used to go to Vasudeva Maharaja, and he also used to think that, "He is my guru." Narada Rsi went to Kamsa and said, "Oh, why are you waiting? Why are you not killing all the sons of Vasudeva? When they will come collectively, what will you do? So you should do it. I went to Kailasa or anywhere, and I was in the council of all demigods, and they were making some conspiracy thinking how to kill you. So all these are the sons of the demigods. All are demigods, and they will kill you if you are not alert. So you should be alert."
And when he went to Vasudeva Maharaja he said, "Oh, don't worry. Your bad times, your bad times have gone. Now, very soon, your 8th son of Devaki will kill Kamsa. So wait a little; wait a little. Don't feel so weak. He knows everything.
So you should try to do bhajan always. No thinking that, "He insulted me. He is my enemy. He is my friend." Not like this. The only friend is Krishna and Guru. It is very hard, very rare to find a real devotee, who is a real friend, and who, without no gain, will do good to you. He will always think of your welfare. Your wife, your sons, your friends - they will always bluff you, and they will try to enjoy their own sense gratification. All these things. Not for you, that you should be happy. Try to know all these things. Wealth cannot save you. Try to know all these things, and be one pointed to Krishna. And then try to be very happy, without no problem. The only problem is, "Oh, how to attain Krishna. Oh, where is Vrajendra-nandana? Where is Vrajendra-nandana? Where is Radhika?" Like this. Sometimes in Vrindavana, sometimes here and there, like Srila Rupa Gosvami and all others. As Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja told, "My office is in Bombay, my sadhana-ksetra is Mayapura, and my abode is Vrindavana. So in his last days he was there in Vrindavana. Always think of Vrindavana, Vrindavana Candra and Vrindavana Candri.