Story of A Dying Man

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.18 Story of A Dying Man (download mp3) , (download flv) and (download mp4)
by Dwarakadhish Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.47.18
 sakrd-adana-vidhuta-dvandva-dharma vinastah
sapadi grha-kutumbam dinam utsrjya dina
 bahava iha vihanga bhiksu-caryam caranti

To hear about the pastimes that Krsna regularly performs is nectar for the ears. For those who relish just a single drop of that nectar, even once, their dedication to material duality is ruined. Many such persons have suddenly given up their wretched homes and families and, themselves becoming wretched, traveled here to Vrndavana to wander about like birds, begging for their living.

Material duality is based on falsely thinking, “This is mine, and that is yours,” or “This is our country, and that is yours,” or “This is my family, and that is yours,” and so on. In fact, there is one Absolute Truth, in which we all exist and to whom everything belongs. His beauty and pleasure are also absolute and infinite, and if one actually hears about this Absolute Truth, called Krsna, one’s dedication to the illusion of mundane duality is spoiled.

According to the acaryas, and certainly in accord with Sanskrit grammar, the last two words of the second line of this text may also be divided dharma-avinastah. Then the entire line becomes part of a single compound, the meaning of which is that hearing about Krsna cleanses one of irreligious duality and thus one is not vanquished (avinasta) by material illusion. The word dinah is then given the alternate reading of dhirah, meaning that one becomes spiritually sober and thus gives up attachment to fleeting material relationships. The word vihangah, “birds,” would in this case refer to swans, the symbol of essential discrimination.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti quotes Rupa Gosvami as follows in connection with this verse:

bhangya tyagauciti tasya
 khaganam api khedanat
yatra sanusayam prokta
 tad bhaved abhijalpitam

“When a lover indirectly states with remorse that her beloved is fit to be given up, such speech, uttered like the plaintive crying of a bird, is called abhijalpa.” (Ujjvala-nilamani 14.194)