"Life is fragile - handle with prayer."
A few days back in Goa, while raining it thundered so loud that it literally scared many people. I was inside our ashram staring at the sky through the window and imagining what would happen if the lightning entered in the room being attracted by the mobile next to me. I then brushed off this possibility as rare and continued my work. Just a few hours later, one of my friend came to meet me. In the course of our discussion, he told me that a few weeks ago, a young couple from Delhi came for a holiday in Goa. One evening, as they were walking along the Candolim beach, it rained and thundered heavily. The husband took off his mobile to take a selfie when the lightning struck them. The power of the lightning was such that, this person got completely burnt, with holes through and through his body. He died on the spot. His wife was also burnt badly. She was rushed to the hospital but she passed away on the next day. Our prayers to this couple to attain a higher and a better destination.
Hearing this scary story I was thinking of how at the least expected moment, lightning in the form of calamity and death can knock us and our plans down at any moment. The scriptures warn us of how there is danger at every step (padam padam yad vipadam na tesam). This world is not a very safe place. The only safety in this world of unsafety is to safely take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. The lightnings of this world are unavoidable, the only option for all of us is to strike up our spiritual nature (by following the process of Krishna consciousness) before material nature strikes us down. Then, we can at once transcend this miserable world at lightning speed and reach the blissful spiritual world where there is no danger and no fear.
One of the perfect example of a person who attained his spiritual nature before the lightning of death struck him was Sri Narada Muni. He himself, explains to Srila Vyasdev how he perfected his life in this way in the following verse. May this verse from the Srimad-bhagvatam and the example of Narada Muni always light up our lives with clarity, focus and a sense of urgency in achieving the highest perfection.
SRIMAD BHAGVATAM 1.6.27
evaṁ kṛṣṇa-mater brahman
kālaḥ prādurabhūt kāle
taḍit saudāmanī yathā
"And so, O Brāhmaṇa Vyāsadeva, in due course of time I, who was fully absorbed in thinking of Kṛṣṇa and who therefore had no attachments, being completely freed from all material taints, met with death, as lightning and illumination occur simultaneously."
PURPORT BY SRILA PRABHUPADA
"To be fully absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa means clearance of material dirt or hankerings. As a very rich man has no hankerings for small petty things, so also a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is guaranteed to pass on to the kingdom of God, where life is eternal, fully cognizant and blissful, naturally has no hankerings for petty material things, which are like dolls or shadows of the reality and are without permanent value. That is the sign of spiritually enriched persons. And in due course of time, when a pure devotee is completely prepared, all of a sudden the change of body occurs which is commonly called death. And for the pure devotee such a change takes place exactly like lightning, and illumination follows simultaneously. That is to say a devotee simultaneously changes his material body and develops a spiritual body by the will of the Supreme."