[Excerpt from Srila Gurudeva: Around the World, Holland 1996, the first book in a series of volumes on Srila Gurudeva’s world preaching tours.]
You know that in England, there is the mad-cow disease. They have created themselves and now they are struggling. We make so many problems for ourselves.
We think, “We are this body. We have only come for sense-gratification.”
Really, we have come to realize what the soul is, what the body is, why we have come to this world and from where we have come to this world. We don’t know where to go after this body dies. We don’t know the answers to these questions. We struggle for our entire lives to collect things, by which we will be so happy. But we see that after death, we cannot take a single strand of hair with us. We cannot take anything of this world. The conditioned souls don’t know what to take and where to go. Everyone is in darkness. Why does everyone do so much for happiness? But we see that our efforts only lead to unhappiness. Why? We know that a motorcar owner of America like Ford was so wealthy. He desired more wealth. I heard that he was so fat that he could not..
Devotee: Go in his car.
Srila Gurudeva: If he had to ride in his car, a crane was used. Water was fed to him. He could not take half a glass of orange juice. The doctors used to always treat him. What is this? Is this happiness? Is this the result of wealth? You will have to be old; you will have to be. You are bound to be. In this whole world, all the scientists, doctors, and wealth may be at your beckoning. But when you are dying, they cannot stop you from dying. You will have to die. You should think that after death what can you take there? I told you one story of the thread and needle. We cannot take even a thread and a needle. All the scientists and doctors will come and they will try to stop a person’s hair from turning white. But the hair will become white. Our eyes are bound to become weak. And one day, so many persons will come and they will take our body and they will take to us the burial ground. And we will be put there. We know this but yet we are struggling. A conditioned soul has duplicity, hypocrisy, and all these things. So we should know all these things and try to be sincere. We should pray to God. The God of gods is Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is an ocean of rasa. He is powerful. He can do anything. So we should try to take the shelter of His lotus feet and try to surrender ourselves to His lotus feet. Then we may be happy and the chain of the birth and death will be immediately stopped; otherwise not.
You will have to become cows also. And the persons who are taking flesh and all these things will have to become cows as well. The cows they have killed will come in the form of men and they will take the flesh of their slaughterers who have now come in the form of cows. There is a reaction to everything. There must be a reaction. So we should try to avoid all these bad things and try to take shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna.
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
–Bhagavad Gita 18.66
[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.]