LOB 34

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



34.
Small pools of water accumulate during the rainy season, and in the autumn they gradually dry up. The little creatures playing in those small pools do not understand that their days are now numbered and will end very soon. Thus they are like foolish men who, not caring for the nearing day of their death, become absorbed in the so-called enjoyment of family life.

Foolish politicians are too attached to family life. A big politician means a big family man. An ordinary family man is attached to his limited family of wife and children, but big politicians extend the same family feeling to a wider circle and thus become encumbered by false prestige, honor, and self-interest. The politician never retires from politics, even if he has enjoyed many covetable posts, like those of minister or president. The older he is, the more he is attached to his false prestige. Even at the fag end of his life he thinks that everything will be spoiled without him. He is so foolish that he does not see that many other politicians who thought like him have come and gone, with no gain or loss for want of them. These family men, big and small, are like the small fish in the pools of water that gradually dry up in the autumn. They are foolish because they think that their attachment to their family, even at the end of their lives, will be able to protect them from the cruel hands of death.

As already mentioned, the human life must be divided into four component parts: the student life, the householder life, the preparative life, and the life of dedication to the service of the Lord. One must retire from all sorts of family life, big or small, at the age of fifty, and thus prepare for the next life. That is the process of human culture. The householders are allowed a pension from service so that they can live for a higher cultural life. But foolish men, reluctant even to accept this pension, want to artificially increase the duration of their life. Such foolish men should take lessons from the drying pools of water and should know, in their own interests, that life is eternal, continuing even after death. Only the body changes, whether spiritually or materially. An intelligent man should be careful to know what sort of body is going to be awarded him, and thus he must prepare for a better life in other planets, even if he is reluctant to go back to Godhead.