(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Radhadesh, Belgium, January 2012) Lecture: SB. 5.9.4
‘sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt’ (Bg2.40)
It is described as the greatest type of fear, and the greatest danger – to basically fall back down into the material world. There maybe so many dangers considered, but this is the one danger – that a devotee must be really alert of. Sometime ago I was contemplating on the world, and so many times I have been in traffic…..and suddenly an ambulance appeared with flashing lights….and all the cars sort of squeeze to the side as the ambulance flies by. Because it is a matter of life and death! A matter of life and death – that’s like a crucial point. The crucial point in this world (in the view of the materialist) is the matter of life and death. But the truth of the matter is that it’s not at all the crucial point.
To Srila Prabhupada, death means that you are going to sleep for seven months, and then you wake up again….in the long term to resume your activity. Or Prabhupada would say to Dr Durckheim in Germany:
“The body is just made of dead matter. It was never alive in the first place! Where is the question of death? It is the soul that is alive…the soul that cannot be destroyed.
‘nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi’ (Bg2.23)
And it is the soul that moves that dead matter around in some way and it makes it act as though it was alive. But it is as dead as can be, all along.”
It’s a fact, that actually fear of death (and at the matter of life and death) is the essential crux of life, then it gets really serious – well that is not serious at all! But falling back down into the material energy, is when it gets very serious! Because then it is a matter of unlimited birth in the material world!