ग्रहीतुं कृतधीरेनं भयनामाभ्यपद्यत ॥ २२ ॥
grahītuṁ kṛta-dhīr enaṁ
Although King Purañjana should not have lamented over the fate of his wife and children, he nonetheless did so due to his miserly intelligence. In the meantime, Yavana-rāja, whose name was fear itself, immediately drew near to arrest him.
Foolish people do not know that every individual soul is responsible for his own actions and reactions in life. As long as a living entity in the form of a child or boy is innocent, it is the duty of the father and mother to lead him into a proper understanding of the values of life. When a child is grown, it should be left up to him to execute the duties of life properly. The parent, after his death, cannot help his child. A father may leave some estate for his children’s immediate help, but he should not be overly absorbed in thoughts of how his family will survive after his death. This is the disease of the conditioned soul. Not only does he commit sinful activities for his own sense gratification, but he accumulates great wealth to leave behind so that his children may also gorgeously arrange for sense gratification.
In any case, everyone is afraid of death, and therefore death is called bhaya, or fear. Although King Purañjana was engaged in thinking of his wife and children, death did not wait for him. Death does not wait for any man; it will immediately carry out its duty. Since death must take away the living entity without hesitation, it is the ultimate God realization of the atheists, who spoil their lives thinking of country, society and relatives, to the neglect of God consciousness. In this verse the word atad-arhaṇam is very significant, for it means that one should not be overly engaged in welfare activities for one’s family members, countrymen, society and community. None of these will help a person to advance spiritually. Unfortunately, in present-day society so-called educated men have no idea what spiritual progress is. Although they have the opportunity in the human form of life to make spiritual progress, they remain misers. They use their lives improperly and simply waste them thinking about the material welfare of their relatives, countrymen, society and so on. One’s actual duty is to learn how to conquer death. Lord Kṛṣṇa states the process of conquering death in Bhagavad-gītā (4.9):
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so ’rjuna
“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.”
After giving up this body, one who is fully Kṛṣṇa conscious does not accept another material body but returns home, back to Godhead. Everyone should try to attain this perfection. Unfortunately, instead of doing so, people are absorbed in thoughts of society, friendship, love and relatives. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, however, is educating people throughout the world and informing them how to conquer death. Hariṁ vinā na mṛtiṁ taranti: one cannot conquer death without taking shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.