So here is one reference that Lord Brahmā was pursued by Lord Śiva when Brahmā was running after his beautiful daughter. So similarly, here, Aśvatthāmā, he knew that Arjuna is coming to kill him, so he was running very swiftly. Āpatantaṁ sa vilakṣya dūrāt. From distant place, when he saw that Arjuna was coming... So dehātma-buddhi. This is the distinction between person in bodily concept of life and person who is liberated from the bodily concept of life. So when Durvāsā Muni cursed or wanted to kill... What is the king? Ambarīṣa Mahārāja. So Ambarīṣa Mahārāja was a devotee. Unnecessarily he was harassed by Durvāsā Muni, but because Ambarīṣa Mahārāja was a pure devotee, advanced, he was not afraid of being killed. He was not afraid. There are many instances. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja. He was attempted to be killed by his father so many times, but he was never afraid. Although he was five-years-old boy, but he was not afraid.
So that is the distinction between an advanced devotee and ordinary man. Dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). Death means changing of the body. So there is nothing to be very much afraid of, but one is afraid of death because at the time of death the tribulation, the miserable condition of the body is very, very severe—so much severe that one cannot remain. He has to give up this body. Just like sometimes out of disappointment, too much suffering, one commits suicide—death. So death means very, very painful, as much as birth is also very, very painful. Therefore Kṛṣṇa presents, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyadhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). One who is intelligent enough, he should always keep before him the sufferings of birth, death, old age, and disease in front. (aside:) You can, side. Birth, death, old age and..., they are very suffering condition, but if one is advanced devotee, he's not afraid of. Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati (SB 6.17.28). Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ, he's never afraid of. Death is coming, that's all right. What is the wrong there? Provided he knows that "After giving up this body, I am going to Kṛṣṇa"? Dhīras tatra na muhyati. He's dhīra. One who is dhīra, he's not afraid of.
So we have to become dhīra. Then we shall not be afraid of death. Unless we are dhīra... There are two classes of men: dhīra and adhīra. Dhīra means one who is not disturbed even though there is cause of disturbances. One may not be disturbed when there is no cause of disturbances. Just like we are not, now at the present moment, we are not afraid of death. But as soon as we find there is earthquake, and we are afraid of this building may fall down, the cause of disturbances, then we become very much disturbed—sometimes screaming. So one who is not disturbed, even there is cause of disturbance, he is called dhīra. Dhīras tatra na muhyati. This is the statement of Bhagavad-gītā. We have to become dhīra from adhīra. But this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice that adhīra can be dhīra. This is the profit of this movement. Kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau premāmṛtāmbho-nidhī dhīrādhīra. Kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau premāmṛtāmbho-nidhī dhīrādhīra-jana-priyau. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is pleasing to both the classes of men, namely the dhīra and the adhīra. It is so nice. Dhīrādhīra-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pūjitau. This was introduced by Caitanya Mahāprabhu and followed by the six Gosvāmīs. Vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau.
So this is the movement how to make an adhīra dhīra. Everyone is adhīra. Who is not afraid of death? Who is not afraid of...? Of course, they are too much agnostic, they forget. But there is suffering. We can see how one suffering at the time of death. There are some men dying... Nowadays it has become a very common... Coma. One is lying in the bed for weeks, two weeks, crying. The life is not going. Those who are very, very sinful. So there is great pain at the time of death. There is great pain at the time of birth, and there is pain when you are diseased, and there are so many pains when you're old. The body is not strong. We suffer in so many ways, especially rheumatism and indigestion. Then blood pressure, headache, so many things. Therefore one should be trained up how to become dhīra. These things, disturbances, make us adhīra, and we should be trained up to dhīra. That is spiritual education. One has to know it. Mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ (BG 2.14). These sufferings, mātrā-sparśāḥ, tan-mātra. On account of the senses, sense perception, we suffer. And the senses are made of material nature. So one has to become above the material nature, then he can become dhīra. Otherwise, one has to remain adhīra. Dhīrādhīra-jana-priyau priya-karau.
So Aśvatthāmā became very much disturbed. Tam āpatantaṁ sa vilakṣya dūrāt kumāra-hā. Hā, from hananam, killing. So he is described here not as Aśvatthāmā, (but) kumāra-hā, one who killed the five boys of Draupadī, kumāras, boys. Boys are called kumāra. Prahlāda Mahārāja has said kaumāra. Kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha (SB 7.6.1). So from the childhood... Because here kumāra-hā. They were innocent boys, they were killed. So we do not know whether I am a kumāra or I'm old man, there is no certainty of death. Any moment death can take place. Not that "I am now kumāra, I can play. When I shall become old man, I shall chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." This is not a very good policy. Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "No. Immediately." Kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha. Therefore the children, those who are actually dhīra, Vaiṣṇava, they should give education to the children. What education? Not this so-called technical education or smoking education, drinking education and so many rascal education. This is not education. Education means bhāgavata education: to understand God. That is wanted. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Education should be given in such a way that the student should be very, very inquisitive. Inquisitive what about? Inquisitive about Brahman, not about this body. The body is matter, and the spirit soul is Brahman. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is human life. One should be inquisitive to know about spiritual life, what is spirit soul. That is the first education. But where is that education? There is no such education. Prahlāda Mahārāja teaches that immediately, from the beginning of life, as soon as one is four or five years old, he should be educated about Brahman. That is called brahma-jijñāsā. Beginning. That is wanted. And for him there is need of guru. One who is inquisitive or serious about inquiring about Brahman, he requires guru. Guru is not a fashion. Guru is necessity. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). Tad-vijñānam. Tad-vijñānam means spiritual education. For material education there is no need of guru. You keep... Guru, of course required, but guru means to inquire about spiritual subject matter. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21). Uttamam. Uttamam means udgata-tamaṁ yasmāt. Tamam means darkness. This world is darkness. Everyone, we know, as this material world is dark. And because it is dark there is need of the sunshine, there is need of the moonshine, there is need of electricity, there is need of fire. Because it is constitutionally dark. And the Vedic injunction is tamasi mā: "Don't remain in darkness." Jyotir gama: "Go to the light." And our Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Kavirāja Gosvāmī, he gives what is that light:
- kṛṣṇa—sūrya-sama; māyā haya andhakāra
- yāhāṅ kṛṣṇa tāhāṅ nāhi māyāra adhikāra
That light is Kṛṣṇa. And anything which is not Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa is everything, but to make a general division, māyā, that is andhakāra.
So we should not remain in māyā. We should remain always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then our life is successful. Otherwise we shall continue the life of darkness, uttamam. Udgata. Tama, darkness. You have to pass over this darkness. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām (SB 10.14.58). Here in the dark... Just like in the darkness if you walk, in every step there is danger. Every step there is danger. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām. If you want to avoid this dangerous life in darkness, then you must take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa-sūrya-sama; māyā haya andhakāra. Māyā is andhakāra. Yāhāṅ kṛṣṇa tāhāṅ nāhi māyāra adhikāra. The sūrya, as soon as there is sunshine, the darkness automatically goes away. So if you keep Kṛṣṇa always in view in your brain, within your heart... Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18). If you simply keep Kṛṣṇa within the heart... Man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. Then your life is success. Otherwise, in the darkness, there is always danger in every step. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām.