The reaction and the hellish planets

The reaction and the hellish planets

What happens after death? 

One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament. (Bhagavad-Gita—-2:27—-translation) 

Yamaraja, the great controller of life after death, decides the living entities’ destinies in their next lives. He is surely among the most confidential representatives of the Lord. Such confidential posts are offered to great devotees of the Lord who are as good as His eternal associates in the spiritual sky. (Srimad Bhagavatam—-3:5:21—-purport).

Unfortunately people do not know that there is life after death; therefore mundane people waste their time amassing material profit which has to be left behind at the time of death. Such profit has no eternal benefit. Similarly, adoration by mundane people is valueless because after death one has to accept another body. Material adoration and titles are decorations that cannot be carried over to the next body. In the next life, everything is forgotten. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta—-2:19:159—-purport).

Just as the most sinful wretch lives in a ghostly body after death and moves about in the ether, having been denied a gross body, so the impersonalist, although rising to the point of liberation in the transcendental position, falls back down to the material world because of not having developed the mood of loving service to the Supreme Lord. Therefore the severe austerities and penances the impersonalist performs are not equivalent to the eternal religion of devotional service. (Renunciation Through Wisdom).

In this life, an envious person commits violent acts against many living entities. Therefore after his death, when he is taken to hell by Yamaraja, those living entities who were hurt by him appear as animals called rurus to inflict very severe pain upon him. Learned scholars call this hell Raurava. Not generally seen in this world, the ruru is more envious than a snake. (Srimad Bhagavatam—-5:26:11—-translation).

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Ravana refused Rama’s invitation and met with annihilation

Ravana refused Rama’s invitation and met with annihilation

 

By Purushottam Nitai Das

With just his tail, Hanuman effortlessly burned the entire city of Lanka. But he too wasn’t successful in burning the lust and ego of Ravana, the powerful king of Lanka. In fact Ravana’s real well wishers such as his brother Vibhishana and his chaste wife Mandodari had tried their best to counsel him several times against kidnapping Sita, wife of Lord Rama. Ravana not just refused to listen to them but he even humiliated them. Upon being reminded by Vibhishana that kidnapping someone else’s wife is an immoral act and he would suffer the consequences for this nefarious deed Ravana became mad with anger at his brother and threatened to kill him. He finally forced Vibhishana to leave his kingdom. Ravana thought he would succeed in killing Rama and would then forcibly enjoy with Sita.

Hanuman was just one of the soldiers of Lord Rama and had almost decimated the entire Lanka. Any sensible person would have easily gauged the strength of his opponent seeing the power of just one of the soldiers of his opponent. But lust and ego had created such a thick covering over Ravana’s intelligence that he was not able to see his imminent disaster. Just like Ravana we too want to enjoy the property of the Lord claiming to be ours. And when reminded that everything moving and non -moving in this world belongs to Lord we refuse to accept it and we start making plans to defeat the plans of the Lord. The material energy of the Lord keeps on demonstrating as how helpless we are in front of her. We see devastation everywhere in the form of flood, famine, earthquake, tsunami, war, deadly diseases and death. But like Ravana we refuse to learn from it and always think that with my efforts and prowess we will be able to subjugate the material world and will enjoy it by becoming the controller.

Lord Rama is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and for him to kill Ravana wasn’t difficult. He is the creator and maintainer of all and when required he destroys everything. But just like a father who always hope that one day his disobedient son would get reformed and will finally return to home, similarly Lord Rama the Supreme father was hoping that may be Ravana would give up his demoniac mentality and would come back to him. And this is why, he waited and through Hanuman and Angad sent him messages that he should act righteously else his end is certain.

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What makes us act selfishly?

What makes us act selfishly?

By Radhanath Swami 

What makes us act selfishly? Question: The caring attitude is pleasing to everyone, but generally the default attitude in this world is one always thinks selfishly. So is it an inbuilt script of the mind that makes one think selfishly? 

Radhanath Swami: The false ego misconceives: “I am this body, I am this mind, I am the controller, I am the proprietor, and I am the selfish enjoyer.” This is foundational to all material complications. It impels us to put ourselves above others and act selfishly. And when we continue to act in that way it becomes a habit. According to how we habituate ourselves, by making those wrong choices, we become more and more engrained in that way of thinking. 

That is the way any habit works. For example, if you smoke a lot of cigarettes you become addicted, and the more you smoke the more you become addicted. The habit becomes a craving, and then it is very difficult to do anything without feeding your habit. When you are in the middle of it, you cannot really understand the effect of what you are doing because you are so much a slave of the habit. So that is exactly the way the ego works. Our selfishness, our arrogance, our greed, our selfish passions, our anger, and our envy – as we make choices to feed these habits, they become stronger and stronger and stronger.

But when we associate with saintly people we began to understand what we really want in life and what our condition is. And then we will take the medicine and the way of life by which we can become liberated from these habits of egotism. Chanting of the Holy Names is the simple medicine that will cure one from all the symptoms of ego, ignorance and selfishness.

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