A human being cannot escape death.
Mother Devaki says that now that You have appeared, death is fleeing in fear of you, and the living entities, having obtained shelter of Your lotus feet, are able to sleep in full mental peace; susthaḥ śete. Up until this time we were unable to sleep peacefully without fear.
There is a proverb spoken among leaders, which is a very important truth: It is said that there are three types of people who can sleep fearlessly in this world; either the son of a king, a yogi, or a true saint. A saintly person can sleep fearlessly because he has attained a state of realisation that is free from fear.
So Mother Devakī says; “Today I am sleeping. And there is one more miracle, mṛtyur asmād apaiti, death is now running away from me, tvat pādābjaḿ prāpya yadṛcchayādya, because I have attained Your lotus feet.”
Surdasji says the same thing:
“Outwardly we chant on beads but where is our mind and heart focused?” Saṁskāras form the mind. So do your bhajan with a spiritual mind. For those who are familiar with psychology call this ‘the conscious mind’.
Krsna recommends the surrender of the spiritual mind in the Bg 3.30; sannyasyādhyātma-cetasā; “Surrender unto Me with your mind and consciousness.”
How can we gauge if we are truly surrendering unto Kṛṣṇa with our spiritual mind? Here Kṛṣṇa gives us a way of measuring. Just like if we want to know our temperature we use a thermometer. If the temperature comes up to 104 degrees, then we know we have a fever. Even if someone denies having a fever, the real test is the thermometer reading. Sometimes people have a fever but they are not aware of it until the doctor reads their temperature and discovers they have a disease like typhoid. Without the thermometer reading they were unaware of this.
Similarly, Kṛṣṇa explains that when there is surrender of the spiritual mind and intelligence, the symptom of that surrender will be: nirāśīr nirmamo bhūtvā, yudhyasva vigata-jvaraḥ; Your materialistic desires will be finished. Until we reach this point, our surrender is incomplete. Unlimited material hankerings result in a need for laddu, pera, money, and so many other concerns; this is because the surrender isn’t unto the Lord, but to the false world where desires are never satiated.
The mountain is most great. But even greater than the mountain is the ocean, which can cover the mountain. But greater still is the sky. Under the sky there are so many seas and so many mountains. But param brahman is even greater than the sky. But still there is something even more powerful than param brahman. That is the desire of the living entity. That means he may even desire to become God or even greater than God, just like Hiraṇyakaśipu.
So in this verse Śrī Kṛṣṇa says that when you are free from all desires, nirāśīr and nirmamo bhūtvā, devoid of all sense of ownership or proprietorship, then one has truly surrendered one’s mind and consciousness to the Lord. Otherwise you are trying to hold onto temporary affairs, which you will only lose.
Tulsidasji says, “All your relatives will leave you one day. Your wealth will eventually go. Therefore only under the shelter of the Lord can one find permanence and loose the fear even of death. Death runs away at the site of a devotee. By the worship of the Lord, death vanishes.”
This was the experience of Mother Devakī. Although she was living in Dvāpara-yuga, this truth equally applies today. Mirabai showed this in her own life.
There is a proverb; “Time will equally rob from a King as it will a poor person.” But after death a King will suffer much more because his false ego is much greater, whereas a poor person will not suffer as much.
A human being has fear and hesitation in singing and dancing. And whilst paying full obeisances, some people hesitate, “How can I do this?” In this mortal body our false ego is like a ghost always haunting us. It is such a powerful ghost. It never goes away. Even after being burnt on the fire, it will never disappear.
The the earth and entire universe is the destroyed millions of times; everything is annihilated, but this false ego survives and is not demolished!
Therefore, only a devotee can burn the false ego by the influence of devotion. Through real knowledge and devotion it can be eradicated. But a foolish person cannot destroy it; instead he always increases his false ego.
Mirabai says, “My bad intelligence is now gone. I was considered the Queen of the palace but neither I am woman or man. I am simply your devotee.”
Tulsidasji wrote in Rāmāyaṇa, Uttara-kāṇḍa Rāmacarita mānasa doha 87, “Whoever they may be, man, woman, unich, animal, animate, inanimate, plants, trees, if they are under the shelter of the Lord they are glorious, otherwise even if one is a big King, a big scholar, he is nothing.”
A big scholar is simply an educated fool. There was a well known King Mohammad Tuglak who was greatly educated, but when he came into power and became King, he destroyed the country. He caused so much economic loss. He became famous as an educated fool.
In the same way Kabir also said, “People who study so much, they are not scholars.”
Mirabai was greatly educated, but she said by the association of saints I received real education knowledge and devotion.
In order to escape the fear of death, one must sing for the Lord, dance for the Lord and whatever you do, work only for the Lord’s pleasure. Mayi sarvani karmani: eat for the Lord after offering the bhoga to Him, sleep for the Lord, drink water for the Lord’s pleasure after offering it to Him. Perform all actions for the Lord’s pleasure.
mayi sarvāṇi karmāṇi
nirāśīr nirmamo bhūtvā
Therefore, O Arjuna, surrendering all your works unto Me, with full knowledge of Me, without desires for profit, with no claims to proprietorship, and free from lethargy, fight.