Making Best Use of Bad Bargain

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.09.24-25 - Making Best Use of Bad Bargain (download mp3)
by Nityananda Charan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 11.9.22
yatra yatra mano dehi
 dharayet sakalam dhiya
snehad dvesad bhayad vapi
 yati tat-tat-svarupatam

If out of love, hate or fear an embodied soul fixes his mind with intelligence and complete concentration upon a particular bodily form, he will certainly attain the form that he is meditating upon.

From this verse it is not hard to understand that if one constantly meditates upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one will achieve a spiritual body just like that of the Lord. The word dhiya, “with intelligence,” indicates complete intellectual conviction in a particular understanding, and similarly the word sakalam indicates one-pointed attention of the mind. With such complete absorption of consciousness, surely one will attain in the next life a form exactly like that upon which one was meditating. This is another example learned from the insect kingdom, as explained in the following verse.
SB 11.9.23
kitah pesaskrtam dhyayan
 kudyam tena pravesitah
yati tat-satmatam rajan
 purva-rupam asantyajan
kitah — an insect; pesaskrtam — a wasp; dhyayan — meditating on; kudyam — in his hive; tena — by the wasp; pravesitah — forced to enter; yati — he goes; tat — of the wasp; sa-atmatam — the same state of existence; rajan — O King; purva-rupam — the previous body; asantyajan — not giving up.
O King, once a wasp forced a weaker insect to enter his hive and kept him trapped there. In great fear the weak insect constantly meditated upon his captor, and without giving up his body, he gradually achieved the same state of existence as the wasp. Thus one achieves a state of existence according to one’s constant concentration.

The following question may be raised: Since the weaker insect in this story did not physically change his body, how can it be said that he achieved the same state of existence as the wasp? Actually, by constant meditation upon a particular object one’s consciousness becomes filled with its qualities. Due to extreme fear the smaller insect was absorbed in the characteristics and activities of the large wasp and thus entered into the existence of the wasp. Due to such meditation, he actually took the body of a wasp in his next life.

Similarly, although we are conditioned souls, if we absorb our consciousness in Lord Krsna we can become liberated even before giving up our present body. If our intelligence becomes steady on the spiritual platform by understanding that Lord Krsna is everything, then we can give up unnecessary consciousness of the external body and absorb ourselves in the spiritual pastimes of Vaikuntha. Thus even before death one can raise oneself to the spiritual platform and enjoy life as a liberated soul. Or, if one is a stubborn fool, then even in this life one can become just like an animal, such as a hog or a dog, constantly thinking of eating and sex life. But human life is actually meant for understanding the science of consciousness and the future results of our meditation.

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