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Mucukunda continued, "For example, I may be a powerful king, and yet when I come home after conquering the world I become subjected to many material conditions"

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"For example, I may be a powerful king, and yet when I come home after conquering the world I become subjected to many material conditions"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

For example, I may be a powerful king, and yet when I come home after conquering the world I become subjected to many material conditions. When I come back victorious, all subordinate kings may come and offer their respects, but as soon as I enter the inner section of my palace, I myself become an instrument in the hands of the queens, and for sense gratification I have to fall down at the feet of women.

“Therefore, my dear Lord, I wasted so much of my valuable lifetime with no benefit. As my misconception of life intensified, I began to think of this material body, which is just a bag of flesh and bones, as the all in all, and in my vanity I believed I had become the king of human society. In this misconception of bodily life I traveled all over the world, accompanied by my military strength—soldiers, charioteers, elephants and horses. Assisted by many commanders and puffed up by power, I could not trace out Your Lordship, who always sit within my heart as the most intimate friend. I did not care for You, and this was the fault of my so-called exalted material condition. I think that, like me, all living creatures are careless about spiritual realization and are always full of anxieties, thinking, ‘What is to be done? What is next?’ But because we are strongly bound by material desires, we continue to remain in craziness.

“Yet in spite of our being so absorbed in material thought, inevitable time, which is only a form of Yourself, is always careful about its duty, and as soon as the allotted time is over, Your Lordship immediately ends all the activities of our material dreams. As the time factor, You end all our activities, as a hungry black snake swiftly swallows up a small rat without leniency. Due to the action of cruel time, the royal body which was always decorated with golden ornaments during life and which moved on a chariot drawn by beautiful horses or on the back of an elephant nicely decorated with golden ornaments, and which was advertised as the king of human society—that same royal body decomposes under the influence of inevitable time and becomes fit for being eaten by worms and insects or being turned into ashes or the stool of an animal. This beautiful body may be recognized as a royal body while in the living condition, but after death the body of even a king is eaten by an animal and therefore turned into stool or is cremated in a crematorium and turned into ashes or is put into an earthly grave, where different kinds of worms and insects are produced of it.

“My dear Lord, we come under the full control of this inevitable time not only after death but also, in a different way, while living. For example, I may be a powerful king, and yet when I come home after conquering the world I become subjected to many material conditions. When I come back victorious, all subordinate kings may come and offer their respects, but as soon as I enter the inner section of my palace, I myself become an instrument in the hands of the queens, and for sense gratification I have to fall down at the feet of women. The material way of life is so complicated that before taking the enjoyment of material life one has to work so hard that there is scarcely an opportunity for peacefully enjoying. And to attain all material facilities one has to undergo severe austerities and penances and be elevated to the heavenly planets. If one gets the opportunity to take birth in a very rich or royal family, even then he is always anxious to maintain the status quo and prepare for the next life by performing various sacrifices and distributing charity. Even in royal life one is full of anxieties, not only because of political administration but also in regard to being elevated to the heavenly planets.

“It is therefore very difficult to get out of material entanglement, but if one is somehow or other favored by You, by Your mercy alone he is given the opportunity to associate with a pure devotee. That is the beginning of liberation from the entanglement of material, conditioned life. My dear Lord, only by the association of pure devotees is one able to approach Your Lordship, who are the controller of both the material and spiritual existences. You are the supreme goal of all pure devotees, and by association with pure devotees one can develop his dormant love for You. Therefore, development of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the association of pure devotees is the cause of liberation from this material entanglement.

“My dear Lord, You are so merciful that in spite of my being reluctant to associate with Your pure devotees, You have shown Your extreme mercy upon me as a result of my slight contact with such a pure devotee as Garga Muni. By Your causeless mercy only have I lost all my material opulences, my kingdom and my family. I do not think I could have gotten rid of all these entanglements without Your causeless mercy. Kings and emperors sometimes accept the life of an ascetic to forget their royal life, but by Your special causeless mercy I have already been bereft of royalty. I do not need to become a mendicant or practice renunciation.