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There is an instructive story about a saintly person blessing, "You may either live or die"

From Vaniquotes

Expressions researched:
"There is an instructive story" |"You may either live or die" |"a saintly person"

Notes from the compiler: Story: Don't Live, Don't Die

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 4

Death is not very much welcome for those who are too much attached to material enjoyment, which culminates in sex. There is an instructive story in this connection.
SB 4.27.12, Translation and Purport:

Thus King Purañjana, being attached to fruitive activities (karma-kāṇḍīya) as well as kith and kin, and being obsessed with polluted consciousness, eventually arrived at that point not very much liked by those who are overly attached to material things.

In this verse the words priya-yoṣitām and apriyaḥ are very significant. The word yoṣit means "woman," and priya means "dear" or "pleasing." Death is not very much welcome for those who are too much attached to material enjoyment, which culminates in sex. There is an instructive story in this connection. Once when a saintly person was passing on his way, he met a prince, the son of a king, and he blessed him, saying, "My dear prince, may you live forever." The sage next met a saintly person and said to him, "You may either live or die." Eventually the sage met a brahmacārī devotee, and he blessed him, saying, "My dear devotee, you may die immediately." Finally the sage met a hunter, and he blessed him, saying, "Neither live nor die." The point is that those who are very sensual and are engaged in sense gratification do not wish to die. Generally a prince has enough money to enjoy his senses; therefore the great sage said that he should live forever, for as long as he lived he could enjoy life, but after his death he would go to hell. Since the brahmacārī devotee was leading a life of severe austerities and penances in order to be promoted back to Godhead, the sage said that he should die immediately so that he need not continue to labor hard and could instead go back home, back to Godhead. A saintly person may either live or die, for during his life he is engaged in serving the Lord and after his death he also serves the Lord. Thus this life and the next are the same for a saintly devotee, for in both he serves the Lord. Since the hunter lives a very ghastly life due to killing animals, and since he will go to hell when he dies, he is advised to neither live nor die.

King Purañjana finally arrived at the point of old age. In old age the senses lose their strength, and although an old man desires to enjoy his senses, and especially sex life, he is very miserable because his instruments of enjoyment no longer function. Such sensualists are never prepared for death. They simply want to live on and on and extend their life by so-called scientific advancement. Some foolish Russian scientists also claim that they are going to make man immortal through scientific advancement. Under the leadership of such crazy fellows, civilization is going on. Cruel death, however, comes and takes all of them away despite their desire to live forever. This type of mentality was exhibited by Hiraṇyakaśipu, but when the time was ripe, the Lord personally killed him within a second.

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

There was another's son, he was muni's son, saintly person's son, and he blessed him, muni-putra muni-putra mā jīva. "You muni-putra, son of a saintly person, you don't live. You die." Rāja-putra rāja-putra ciraṁ jīva. "The king's son, you live forever," and muni-putra, ma jīva, "You don't live." Muni-putra muni-putra mā jīva. And there was a hunter also, and there was a saintly person also. The saintly person he blessed, mā jīva, jīva vā māra vā. "Either you die or live, it is all the same."

Lecture on SB 2.4.2 -- Los Angeles, June 25, 1972:

That "To become Kṛṣṇa conscious means to lose everything, up to life? Does it mean?" Sometimes, superficially, they take it like that, but actually that is not the fact. There is another story in which one saintly person came in an assembly. So he blessed... A saintly person, they, everyone expects some blessings. So there was a king's son. So he blessed him, rāja-putra rāja-putra ciraṁ jīva. "My dear king's son, you live forever." And there was another's son, he was muni's son, saintly person's son, and he blessed him, muni-putra muni-putra mā jīva. "You muni-putra, son of a saintly person, you don't live. You die." Rāja-putra rāja-putra ciraṁ jīva. "The king's son, you live forever," and muni-putra, ma jīva, "You don't live." Muni-putra muni-putra mā jīva. And there was a hunter also, and there was a saintly person also. The saintly person he blessed, mā jīva, jīva vā māra vā. "Either you die or live, it is all the same." And there was a hunter.

He blessed him, mā jīva mā māra, "Don't die don't live." This is very instructive. "You don't die, you don't live." One was blessed that "You don't die," the rāja-putra, "Don't die." And the muni-putra, he was blessed, "You die." And the saintly person was blessed, "Either you die or you live." And the hunter was blessed, "You don't live, don't die." So this was a puzzle. So the king, he invited his ministers, that "What is the meaning of this?" The ministers were very intelligent, so he explained that "Your son has been blessed"ciraṁ jīva " Because your son is so licentious that as soon as he dies he is going to hell. So therefore he has blessed 'You better live forever; otherwise you are going to hell. (laughter) Your life is so sinful that next life is hellish. So better you live forever.' " Then, the next, muni-putra. Muni-putra means... Just like our disciples. They have to undergo austerities: no meat-eating, no illicit sex, no intoxication, so many no's.

But similarly, muni-putra, he is also execute all these functions, and there is no comfortable life. A muni-putra lives in a cottage. There is no good bedstead, and eating simple fruits and flowers. So from materialistic point of view, this is a miserable condition of life. So he was blessed that "You have sufficiently undergone austerities. Now your next life is in Vaikuṇṭha. So better you die and go to Vaikuṇṭha. Why you should suffer any more?" So therefore he was blessed that muni-putra muni-putra mā jīva. And the saintly person, he was blessed by the words jīva vā māra vā. "Either you die or live, the same thing." Because, a saintly person is engaged in the service of the Lord so his life is so blissful. So either he lives or when he dies, he goes back to home, back to Godhead. He'll do the same business. So there is no difference. Just like you are engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. You are getting the same service, eternally. This is a progressional period only.

Festival Lectures

There was a nice story the other day I told you that a sage is giving different kinds of blessings to different types of persons. So to a king's son, a prince, he blessed, rāja-putra ciraṁ jīva: "You are a king's son, a prince. You live forever." And muni-putra, the son of a saintly person, he blessed him, mā jīva mā jīva: "You don't live."

His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada's Disappearance Day, Lecture -- Los Angeles, December 9, 1968:

So today is the disappearance day of my Guru Mahārāja. As I told you that sādhavo jīva vā mara vā. There was a nice story the other day I told you that a sage is giving different kinds of blessings to different types of persons. So to a king's son, a prince, he blessed, rāja-putra ciraṁ jīva: "You are a king's son, a prince. You live forever." And muni-putra, the son of a saintly person, he blessed him, mā jīva mā jīva: "You don't live." Rāja-putra ciraṁ muni-putra mā jīva. And sādhu, devotees, he blessed him, jīva vā mara vā: "Either you live or you die, as you like." And there was a butcher, he blessed him, mā jīva mā mara: "You don't die, don't live." So these words are very significant. That I have already explained, still I am explaining. A prince, he's enjoying sense, that's all. He has got enough facility for sense enjoyment. So his next life is hellish. Because if you indulge in sex life, then Kṛṣṇa will give you facility to have sex life three times in an hour, just like the pigeons, the monkeys, the sparrows, they are very sexually strong. You have seen it. So the facility is given. So princely order, they are after sense enjoyment. So he's blessed that "Better you live forever, because after your death, you do not know what is going to happen to you. You are going to get a hellish life. Better you live for some time. Go on with your enjoyment." And muni-putra mā jīva. Brahmacārī, working under the guidance under strict disciplinary guidance, of a spiritual master, he is blessed, mā jīva, "You better die. Because you are so trained to enter into the kingdom of God, so why should you take so much trouble? Better you die and go back to Godhead." Ma jīva. And a devotee he blessed, jīva va maro va: "My dear devotee, either you live or die, the same thing." And the butcher, he blessed him, ma jīva ma mara: "You don't live, don't die." What he's to do? His living condition is so abominable. From the morning, he has to slaughter so many animals, see the bloodstain, the ghastly scene. That is his livelihood. So what a horrible life this is. So "Don't live. And don't die also." Because after death, oh, he is going to be in so much hellish condition, nobody can describe. So both lives, living condition and death, after death, his condition is very horrible.

Anyway, apart from others, the devotee, for him, appearance and disappearance the same thing.

One saintly person was giving his blessings to different kinds of persons. So he first of all saw one boy, he was a prince, son of a king. So he blessed him, rāja-putra. "My dear prince," ciraṁ jīva, "you live forever." Then he saw one brahmacārī, a disciple of a spiritual master, he said, mā jīva muni-putraka: "Oh, you are the disciple of a saintly person. You do not live. You die immediately." Rāja-putra ciraṁ jīva. "Oh, the prince, son of a king, you live forever; and you are a brahmacārī, muni-putra, a son of a saintly person, so you die immediately."

Six Gosvamis Lecture, Sri Sri Sad-govamy-astaka -- Los Angeles, November 18, 1968:

There is a nice instructive verse in Sanskrit. One saintly person was giving his blessings to different kinds of persons. So he first of all saw one boy, he was a prince, son of a king. So he blessed him, rāja-putra. "My dear prince," ciraṁ jīva, "you live forever." Then he saw one brahmacārī, a disciple of a spiritual master, he said, mā jīva muni-putraka: "Oh, you are the disciple of a saintly person. You do not live. You die immediately." Rāja-putra ciraṁ jīva. "Oh, the prince, son of a king, you live forever; and you are a brahmacārī, muni-putra, a son of a saintly person, so you die immediately." Then there was a saintly person, and he said to the saintly... He offered his blessings to the saintly person, jīva vā mara vā sādhoḥ. Sādhoḥ means saintly person, sādhu. "My dear saintly person, either you live or you die as you like." And there was a butcher. He told for the butcher, mā jīva mā mara iti: "You neither live nor die." So what is the significance of these four kinds of blessings? The significance is that he blessed the rāja-putra, royal prince, to live forever because whatever enjoyment he's having, this is for this life. Next life is very horrible for him, next life. Just like generally in the opulent countries like America and other European countries, they are materially very opulent, they do not care for anything. They do anything, whatever they like, because they are very much proud of their material opulence. But they do not care what they are going to be next life, you see. Therefore so long they live, that is good for them. As soon as they die, they are going to the darkest region of the hell. Therefore the prince, the king's son, was blessed, "You live forever," and so far the brahmacārī, brahmacārī or the son of a muni, he is undergoing penance, austerities, fasting, not very comfortable life. So he was blessed that "You die immediately." Because by his pious activities he has elevated himself so high that as soon as he dies, he goes to Vaikuṇṭha, kingdom of God. Therefore the sooner he dies is better. So muni-putra, ma jīva muni-putraka. And so far saintly person, sādhu, he said, jīva vā mara vā. A saintly person, "Either you live or die, the same thing. Because you are serving Kṛṣṇa in this life, and as soon as you die, you will serve Kṛṣṇa directly. So it is all the same." And so far the butcher is concerned, he said, mā jīva mā mara: "You don't die, don't live." "Don't live" means, "You are living in such a wretched condition, killing every day. Horrible life. Your living is horrible, and if you die, you are going to the darkest region of the hellish condition. So both life, living or dying, it is very horrible for you. So you don't live, don't die." (laughs) So that is the blessing to the butcher, "Don't live, don't die." Living condition is also horrible, and after death it is also horrible.

Sahadeva +  and MadhuGopaldas +
August 12, 0011 JL +
February 28, 0013 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 1 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 3 +, Conv: 0 +  and Let: 0 +