The Deliverance of Muchukunda

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.51.50 - The Deliverance of Muchukunda (download mp3)
by Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.51.50
pura rathair hema-pariskrtais caran
 matam-gajair va nara-deva-samjñitah
sa eva kalena duratyayena te
 kalevaro vit-krmi-bhasma-samjñitah
The body that at first rides high on fierce elephants or chariots adorned with gold and is known by the name “king” is later, by Your invincible power of time, called “feces,” “worms,” or “ashes.”

In the United States and other materially developed countries, dead bodies are cosmetically disposed of in a tidy ceremonial way, but in many parts of the world old, sickly and injured people die in lonely or neglected places, where dogs and jackals consume their bodies and transform them into stool. And if one is so blessed as to be buried in a coffin, one’s body may very well be consumed by worms and other minuscule creatures. Also, many earthly cadavers are burned and thus transformed into ashes. In any case, death is certain, and the ultimate fate of the body is never sublime. That is the real purport of Mucukunda’s statement here — that the body, though now called “king,” “prince,” “beauty queen,” “upper-middle class” and so on, will eventually be called “stool,” “worms” and “ashes.”

Srila Sridhara Svami quotes the following Vedic statement:

yoneh sahasrani bahuni gatva
 duhkhena labdhvapi ca manusatvam
sukhavaham ye na bhajanti visnum
 te vai manusyatmani satru-bhutah

“After passing through many thousands of species and undergoing great struggle, the conditioned living entities finally obtain the human form. Thus those human beings who still do not worship Lord Visnu, who can bring them real happiness, have certainly become enemies of both themselves and humanity.”