Smart Quote of the Day, July 23, 2019

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"When a relative dies one certainly becomes very much interested in philosophy, but when the funeral ceremony is over one again becomes attentive to materialism."

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This is a quote from Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.2.61

[In this chapter, the demonic king Hiranyakashipu has just comforted his family with philosophical advice after his brother was killed in a fight with the Supreme Person. Simultaneously, he was also plotting how to terrorize the universe.]

TRANSLATION

Sri Narada Muni continued: Diti, the mother of Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa, heard the instructions of Hiranyakasipu along with her daughter-in-law, Rusabhanu, Hiranyaksa’s wife. She then forgot her grief over her son’s death and thus engaged her mind and attention in understanding the real philosophy of life.

PURPORT:

When a relative dies one certainly becomes very much interested in philosophy, but when the funeral ceremony is over one again becomes attentive to materialism. Even Daityas, who are materialistic persons, sometimes think of philosophy when some relative meets death. The technical term for this attitude of the materialistic person is smasana-vairagya, or detachment in a cemetery or place of cremation.

As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, four classes of men receive an understanding of spiritual life and God — arta (the distressed), jijñasu (the inquisitive), artharthi (one who desires material gains) and jñani (one who is searching for knowledge).

Especially when one is very much distressed by material conditions, one becomes interested in God. Therefore Kuntidevi said in her prayers to Krishna that she preferred distress to a happy mood of life. In the material world, one who is happy forgets Krishna, or God, but sometimes, if one is actually pious but in distress, he remembers Krishna. Queen Kuntidevi therefore preferred distress because it is an opportunity for remembering Krishna.

When Krishna was leaving Kuntidevi for His own country, Kuntidevi regretfully said that she was better off in distress because Krishna was always present, whereas now that the Pandavas were situated in their kingdom, Krishna was going away. For a devotee, distress is an opportunity to remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly.

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