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The Prince Who Brought Jubilation and Lamentation
Once the world was ruled by a powerful king named Chitraketu. King Chitraketu had many beautiful wives, but he did not receive a child from any of them, as they were all barren. Upon the advise of Angira muni, king Chitraketu arranged for a special sacrifice to the demigods and then offered the remnants of the sacrificial food to one of his queens named Krtadyuti. At the end of the sacrifice, Angira muni told him, "O great king, you will now have a son who will be the cause of both jubilation and lamentation." Chitraketu was overjoyed to know that he would finally get a son, but he wondered about the sage's last words. He thought, "Angira must have meant that I will be greatly happy when my son is born. But what did he mean by the child being the cause of lamentation? Of course, being my only son, he will automatically become the heir to my throne. Therefore, he might become proud and disobedient. That might be a cause for lamentation. But a disobedient son is better than no son at all."
In due course of time, Krtadyuti begot a son. King Chitraketu could not contain his joy. He raised his infant son carefully and his affection for queen Krtadyuti increased daily. The other wives, who felt neglected, burned with anger and envy. As their envy increased, they lost their intelligence, and their hearts became hard like stone. They met secretly and decided that the only way to regain the love of their husband was to poison the child.
Q: What was the result of Chitraketu's affection for Krtadyuti?
Q: What makes one act in deadly ways to cause harm to others?
Death of the Prince
One afternoon, as queen Krtadyuti walked in the courtyard of the palace, she thought of her son sleeping peacefully in his room. Because she loved the child dearly and could hardly bear to be without him for a moment, she ordered the nurse to awaken him from his nap and bring him to the garden. But when the maidservant approached the child, she saw that his eyes were turned upward, and there were no signs of life. Horrified, she held a swab of cotton beneath the boy's nostrils, but the cotton did not move. In great agitation, she struck her breast with both hands and wept loudly.
Some time passed, and the anxious queen approached the child's bedroom. Hearing the nurse's wailing, she entered the room and saw that her son had passed from this world. In great lamentation, her hair and dress in disarray, the queen fell to the ground unconscious. When the King heard of his son's death, he became nearly blind with grief. His lamentation grew like a conflagration, and as he ran to see the dead child, he repeatedly stumbled and fell.
Q: Read the verse Bhagavad-gita 2.7 'karpanya dosho..' purport and write two points that caused the king and queen behave the way they did.
Q: Can you think of the death of some near and dear ones in your family? How did it affect you?
Surrounded by his ministers and court officers, the king entered the boy's room and collapsed unconscious at the child's feet, his hair and dress scattered. When he regained consciousness, he was breathing heavily, his eyes were filled with tears and he was unable to speak. When the queen saw her husband in an ocean of lamentation and again viewed the dead child, her grief increased all the more. This increased the pain in the hearts of all the residents of the palace. The queen's flower garlands slipped from her body, and her smooth jet-black hair became tangled. Falling tears smeared the cosmetics beneath her eyes. She began to curse the Supreme Lord, "O Providence! During the lifetime of the father, you have caused the death of his son. You are certainly the enemy of the living beings and are not at all merciful." Turning to her beloved child, she said, "My dear son, I am helpless and aggrieved. You should not give up my company. How can you leave me? Just look at your lamenting father! You have slept for a long time. Now please get up. Your playmates are calling you to play. You must be very hungry, so please get up immediately and take your lunch. My dear son, I am most unfortunate, for I can no longer see your sweet smiling. You have closed your eyes forever. You have been taken from this planet to another place, from which you will not return. My dear son, unable to hear your pleasing voice, I can no longer maintain my life."
The king began crying loudly. As the mother and father lamented, all their followers joined them, bemoaning the untimely death of the child. Because of the sudden demise of the prince, all the citizens of the kingdom were also grief-struck.
Q: What realizations come to your heart when you see people crying loudly in front of a dead body? Relate your realizations with scriptural quotes from the Bhagavad-gita or the Srimad Bhagavatam.
Q: Can you prepare a (approx. twenty sentences) lecture for a group of people who have come to attend a condolence meeting after the death of one of their acquintances? The contents should include knowledge about the soul and God and the purpose of life.
Arrival Of Angira Muni and Narada Muni:
When the great sage Angira understood that the king was almost dead, being immersed in an ocean of sorrow, he went there with his friend, the saint Narada. The two sages found the king, overwhelmed by lamentation, lying like a dead body beside the corpse of his son. Angira addressed the king sharply, "Wake up from the darkness of ignorance, O king! What relationship do you have with this child? You may say that you are now related as father and son, but do you think that this relationship existed before his birth? Does it truly exist now? Will it continue now that he is dead? O King, as small particles of sand sometimes come together and are sometimes separated due to the force of the ocean's waves, living entities who have accepted material bodies sometimes come together and are sometimes separated by the force of time." Angira wanted the King to understand that all bodily relationships are temporary.
Q: How is our relationship with our family members temporary? Give an example.
Q: What is the purpose of great sages like Angira and Narada in associating with great kings?
Narada Muni Invites the Soul Back Into the Body Of the Prince
Then, Narada Muni, by his mystic power, brought the soul of the prince, back into the dead body. Narada said,"O living entity, all good fortune unto you. Just see your father and mother. All your friends and relatives are overwhelmed with grief because of your death. Because you died untimely, the balance of your life still remains. Therefore, you may enjoy the remainder of the years allotted to you in this body with your friends and relatives, and later you may accept the royal throne and all the opulences given by your father."
The Child Gives Transcendental Message
The child who had been dead, sat up and began to speak, not with the childishness of a young boy, but with the full knowledge of a liberated soul, "According to the results of my material activities, I, the living being, transmigrate from one body to another, sometimes going to the species of the demigods, sometimes to the species of lower animals, sometimes incarnating among the vegetables, and appearing sometimes in the human species. In which birth were these two people my father and mother? No one is actually my father and mother. I have had millions of so-called parents. How can I accept these two people as my father and mother?"
The Vedas teach that the eternal living being enters a body made of material elements. Here we find that such a living being entered a body produced by king Chitraketu and his wife. Actually, however, he was not their son. The living entity is the eternal son of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but because he wants to enjoy this material world, God gives him a chance to enter various bodies. Yet the pure living being has no true relationship with the material body he gets from his father and mother. Therefore, the soul who had taken the body of Chitraketu's son flatly denied that the king and queen were his parents.
Q: Why did the boy deny the king and queen to be his parents?
Q: Write with scriptural evidences how Krishna is the ultimate father of every living being.
In The Material World, We Come Together As A Family, Stay Together Temporarily, And Get Separated Never To Meet Again
The soul continued, "In this material world, which is like a swiftly flowing river, all people become friends, relatives and enemies in due course of time. They also act neutrally and in many other relationships. But despite these various transactions, no one is permanently related."
Millions of living entities come to this world, and all of them are given a certain type of body. A few living entities, say five or six, are put in a group called a family and they stay together for a period of time and are then separated by death, never to meet again. It is like meeting somebody in a train journey from Pune to Bombay. During the journey you make friends with him. but once the destination comes, you go your way and he goes his way. This is the case with families also. But once a living entity is put in a particular family he becomes attached to others as father, mother, brothers, sisters etc., because of falsely identifying himself with the body. This attachment makes the living entity undergo the cycle of repeated birth and death.
Q;Explain how our life is like a journey.
Krishna Is The Real Father
The soul continued to speak, "Just as gold and other commodities are continually transferred from one place to another through buying and selling, so the living entity, as a result of his karma, wanders throughout the universe, being injected into various bodies in different species of life through the semen of one father after another."
The Bhagavad-gita explains that it is not by any father or mother that the living entity is given birth. The living entity's true identity is completely separate from the so-called father and mother. By the laws of nature, the soul is forced to enter the semen of a father and is injected into the womb of a mother. He cannot directly control the kind of father he will get; this is automatically determined by his activities in previous lives. The laws of karma force him to go to different fathers and mothers, just like a commodity that is bought and sold. The living entity sometimes takes shelter of an animal father and mother and sometimes a human father and mother.Sometimes he accepts a father and mother among the birds, and sometimes he accepts a demigod father and mother in the heavenly planets. As the soul transmigrates through different bodies, everyone, in every form of life - be it human, animal, tree, or demigod - gets a father and mother. This is not very difficult. The real difficulty is to obtain a spiritual father - a bona fide spiritual master. Therefore, the duty of a human being is to search out such a spiritual master, for under his guidance one can become free from the cycle of reincarnation and return to his original home and attain the original father, Sri Krishna in the spiritual world.
Q: How can we understand that our current father is not our real father, rather Krishna is our real father?
Q: Which father is the most difficult to achieve?
Q: What is the duty of a human being?
"The living being is eternal", the pure soul continued, "and has no relation with so-called fathers and mothers. He falsely accepts himself as their son and acts affectionately. After he dies, however, the relationship is finished. Under these circumstances, one should not be falsely involved with jubilation and lamentation. The living entity is eternal and imperishable; he has no beginning and no end, nor does he take birth or die. The living being is equal in quality to the Supreme Lord. Both are spiritual personalities. But because the living entity is so small, he is prone to be illusioned by the material energy, and thus he creates bodies for himself according to his different desires and activities."
The Vedas tell us that the soul is responsible for his lives in the material world, where he is trapped in the cycle of reincarnation of getting one material body after another. If he likes, he can remain suffering in the prison house of material existence, or he can return to his original home in the spiritual world. Although God arranges through the material energy to give the living beings the bodies they desire, the Lord's true desire is that the conditioned souls get off the miserable ferris wheel of material life and return home, back to Godhead.Suddenly the boy became silent, as the pure soul left the body of the child, and the body fell lifeless to the floor. Chitraketu and the other relatives were astonished. They cut the shackles of their affection and gave up their lamentation. Then they performed the funeral ceremony, cremating the body. Because King Chitraketu and his queen had become fully cognizant of spiritual knowledge, including the science of reincarnation, they easily gave up the affection that leads to pain, fear, grief, and illusion.
Q: What causes the creation of bodies one life after another for a living entity?
Q: Write 5 examples or analogies mentioned in the above story and also explain the connection in which they were used.