Take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness means the way how you can please the Supreme Lord. But if by executing your so-called occupational duty of the body, if you do not take care of taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness or pleasing the Supreme Lord, then you have no gain. You are simply working for nothing, wasting your time. You are thinking that "I'm doing my duty very nicely. I'm a brāhmaṇa, I'm doing my duty." "I am businessman doing my duty," "I'm scientist." "I am..." Actually, you are not doing your duty. Your real duty is to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That you have forgotten. Therefore Nārada Muni says ko vā artha āptaḥ abhajatām. One who is not taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, not engaged in devotional—abhajatām. So what does he gain? In another place, the Bhāgavata says, śrama eva hi kevalam.
- dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
- viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
- notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
- śrama eva hi kevalam
- (SB 1.2.8)
Śrama eva hi kevalam. One man is doing his duty, his occupational duty as a brāhmaṇa, or a kṣatriya or a businessman or a student or anyone. He's doing very nicely. But doing all these activities, if he could not awaken his dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ. Viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ means just like you have come here to hear about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise, why you have come here? You have come here hearing me or anyone discussing śāstra. So this is required. You may do anything as your occupational duty, but the real life is that you have to awaken your dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, become eager to understand about Kṛṣṇa. That is main business. So therefore, it is said that after doing your duties very nicely, but you have no taste for understanding Kṛṣṇa, viṣvaksena... Another name of Kṛṣṇa is Viṣvaksa. Kathāsu, kathāsu means "message." Dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena-kathāsu, notpādayed yadi ratim: (SB 1.2.8) if you do not awaken your attachment for hearing about Kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa-kathā... That is our main business. Caitanya Mahāprabhu—kṛṣṇa-kathā. Yāre dekha tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa (CC Madhya 7.128). This is our mission. We have to simply speak about Kṛṣṇa all over the world. Yāre dekha tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-kathā, 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa. So if one is not interested in kṛṣṇa-kathā, in the topics of Kṛṣṇa, then śāstra says, śrama eva hi kevalam. Whatever rightfully or sincerely he's doing on the material bodily concept of life, it is śrama eva hi kevalam. Simply he's wasting time. Now it is very difficult to understand this philosophy. If we go to a very nice businessman or politician or scientist, if we say, "Sir, have you got any interest in Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" "No, why shall I do it? I don't want." Then if I say, "You are wasting your time, sir," will he accept? But this is the position, actually. He's simply wasting his time. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8).
Therefore the conclusion is, try to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness somehow or other. Even whatever you have finished, that is your lasting credit. Don't be neglectful. Tyaktvā sva-dharmam. Svalpam apy asya—this is the most important line in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya. This occupational duty, Kṛṣṇa consciousness... There are many examples. Just like Ajāmila. Ajāmila, it is very nice example in the śāstra. Ajāmila, the story of Ajāmila. He was a son of a brāhmaṇa and he was very nicely trained up, brahmacārī, and when he was young, he was married also. So he was very faithful to his wife, father, mother, and executing the duties of a brāhmaṇa. But one day he went to collect some flowers for worshiping Deity, his father was old, he was helping. So, in the meantime, he saw a śūdra woman and man. They were embracing and kissing one another. So he became sexually agitated. There is that possibility. Therefore there is restriction of intermingling of woman and man. Because as soon as one falls a prey to the sex desire, then his whole career may be spoiled. May be spoiled. But if he is strongly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no such chance. But this brāhmaṇa Ajāmila, he saw. Naturally, he was young man, and the woman also played some trick.
So later on he became a victim of that woman. She was a prostitute. And then he forgot his father and mother, his wife, everything, home, everything forgotten. So he became addicted to that prostitute, and to maintain he became a thief, rogue, burglar, drunkard, anything, someway or other bring money, bring money, bring money. You see. So he was doing that. In this way his life was spoiled. And he begot ten children in that prostitute's womb. So the last child... Naturally the last son, the youngest son because very father's pet. So he was taking care of the son. And his name was Nārāyaṇa. That is the system of Vedic..., children are given..., Nārāyaṇa dāsa. Just like we give name, spiritual name. So when he was old enough, he was going to die out of disease. His so-called prostitute wife neglected. She went away. So the Yamadūtas, the servants of the Yamarāja, they came to take him, because he was the greatest sinner, sinful number one. So he has to go to Yamarāja for punishment. So they came and he was very much afraid. He was seeing, one can see vicious, I mean to say, forms of the Yamarāja. So he was crying. So because he was pet to that youngest child Nārāyaṇa, he thought, "My son, this Nārāyaṇa can save me." He chanted, "Nārāyaṇa!" Oh, this "Nārāyaṇa" immediately gave him consciousness, that "What this Nārāyaṇa can help me? If Nārāyaṇa whom in my younger days I worshiped, He can save me." Immediately. Immediately Nārāyaṇa-sena came here, "Yes." Just see. Svalpam api—because in the childhood he served Nārāyaṇa for a few days or few years, he was remembering Nārāyaṇa, "If that Nārāyaṇa can save me." So Nārāyaṇa actually saved him, Nārāyaṇa. Ante nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ (SB 2.1.6). At the time of death, somehow or other, if you can remember Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, your life is successful. Therefore, practice, practice, while you are strong, while you are in good life, practice how to remember Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, always. Therefore Kulaśekhara, Mahārāja Kulaśekhara, he has written his Stotra-mālā, very important. In the first stotra he said:
- kṛṣṇa tvadīya-pada-paṅkaja-pañjarāntam
- adyaiva viśatu me mānasa-rāja-haṁsaḥ
- prāṇa-prayāṇa-samaye kapha-vāta-pittaiḥ
- kaṇṭhāvarodhana-vidhau smaraṇaṁ kutas te
- (MM 33)
He's thinking, "My Lord, Kṛṣṇa, now I am strong. Kindly give me the chance to die immediately. Give me the chance. Because now I can remember. But if I die in the natural way, when I am too old, it may be that kapha-pitta, because this is the body of tri-dhātuka, kapha, pitta, vāyu, so my throat will be choked up by mucus and I may be unconscious, I may not be able to chant at the time of death Your name. So now I am strong, please immediately give me death."
So this is the secret of success. Somehow or other, if you can remember Kṛṣṇa, ante nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ (SB 2.1.6). Yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran loke (BG 8.6). This is the way. So there is chance. If we execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness sincerely, if you execute till it is finished, then it immediately—tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). If not, even if you have finished certain percentage, still there is chance of perfection, it is such nice thing. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt.