Srimad Bhagavatam 12.02.39-41 - Best to the Worst (download mp3)
by Nityananda Charan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
kṛtaṁ tretā dvāparaṁ ca
kaliś ceti catur-yugam
bhuvi prāṇiṣu vartate
The cycle of four ages — Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara and Kali — continues perpetually among living beings on this earth, repeating the same general sequence of events.
rājann ete mayā proktā
bhūmau mamatvaṁ kṛtvānte
hitvemāṁ nidhanaṁ gatāḥ
My dear King Parīkṣit, all these kings I have described, as well as all other human beings, come to this earth and stake their claims, but ultimately they all must give up this world and meet their destruction.
rāja-nāmno ’pi yasya ca
bhūta-dhruk tat-kṛte svārthaṁ
kiṁ veda nirayo yataḥ
Even though a person’s body may now have the designation “king,” in the end its name will be “worms,” “stool” or “ashes.” What can a person who injures other living beings for the sake of his body know about his own self-interest, since his activities are simply leading him to hell?
After death, the body may be buried and eaten by worms, or it may be thrown in the street or forest to be eaten by animals who will pass out its remnants as stool, or it may be burned and converted into ashes. Therefore one should not pave his way to hell by using his temporary body to injure the bodies of other living beings. In this verse the word bhūta includes nonhuman life forms, who are also creatures of God. One should give up all envious violence and learn to see God in everything by the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.