Our own mother cannot be present everywhere because she is situated in one place. If a calamity occurs at another place, an ordinary mother cannot go there. There was an incident that illustrates this point. A foreign lady used to come here. She had one son. Her son had gone somewhere for skating. During skating he fell down into a ditch. From there he called his mother on his mobile telling her that he had fallen into a trench. His mother immediately flew on an airplane to where he was, but before she arrived, he died. She was his mother but she couldn’t come immediately to his rescue. She was not all pervading.
In SB 7.9.19 Prahlada Maharaja states:
bālasya neha śaraṇaḿ pitarau nṛsiḿha
nārtasya cāgadam udanvati majjato nauḥ
taptasya tat-pratividhir ya ihāñjaseṣṭas
tāvad vibho tanu-bhṛtāḿ tvad-upekṣitānām
My Lord Nṛsiḿhadeva, O Supreme, because of a bodily conception of life, embodied souls neglected and not cared for by You cannot do anything for their betterment. Whatever remedies they accept, although perhaps temporarily beneficial, are certainly impermanent. For example, a father and mother cannot protect their child, a physician and medicine cannot relieve a suffering patient, and a boat on the ocean cannot protect a drowning man.
Before a parent the child dies. Surdasji writes that the parents cannot protect their child. He sings:
“O brother, why don’t you go under the shelter of Krsna? You try to take shelter of so many mortal beings in this world, but why don’t you take shelter of Kṛṣṇa? “
All these living beings will be separated because they cannot be present everywhere. Only the Supreme Lord is the all-pervading mother. What can a mortal mother do? After a short time she will die. So how can she protect?
When Lord Sri Krsna appeared in the prison, Mother Devaki spoke to Him inside the prison:
“From time immemorial I was running away.”
A human being is running and death is pursuing him. Behind us is a big snake who is chasing after us. It is called the snake of time or death. This snake of time resides both in the sky, underground and everywhere. It is always chasing the living entity. We are always trying to escape it. For life we eat food and drink water without which we would die. Why do we breathe in air? This is because we would die without it. We create a house and wear clothes to secure our life. We sleep so we can keep living.
So mother said, this serpent of time is chasing us and the living entity is running away to escape it. The living runs throughout the whole universe trying to escape. There is no counting of the planets we have taken birth upon trying to escape the serpent of time.
martyo mṛtyu-vyāla-bhītaḥ palāyan
lokān sarvān nirbhayaḿ nādhyagacchat
tvat pādābjaḿ prāpya yadṛcchayādya
susthaḥ śete mṛtyur asmād apaiti
No one in this material world has become free from the four principles birth, death, old age and disease, even by fleeing to various planets. But now that You have appeared, My Lord, death is fleeing in fear of You, and the living entities, having obtained shelter at Your lotus feet by Your mercy, are sleeping in full mental peace.
A fly will take off when you brush it away because she fears death. Similarly, if you threaten with a stick it will fly away. All creatures in this world are running away. They are running to other planets.
When a baby is born he knows nothing about birth and death, nor does he have any knowledge. But if you clap in front him, he will close his eyes. Who taught him this? He also fears darkness and cries. Who taught him this fear?
This sloka explains that this fear has been with the living entity since time immemorial. The fear is continuing from unlimited births and it will continue also. Even if one becomes a sannyāsī or a tapasvī, or a great scholar, there still cannot be protection from death.
Some years ago a famous wealthy person of India came to me. He asked me, “Can you give me liberation?”
I said, “No, it is not in my hands. If someone says they can give liberation, then consider it to be cheating.”
Brajaraja went to America. Just as sometimes in Christianity in ancient times they would promise they would take you to heaven, similarly Brajarajaji witnessed in American that people would want to give money so they could get registry up to heaven after death. They would want to give money with that hope. Brajaraja experienced this and told me about it.
A human being cannot escape death. He may go to innumerable universes. The amount of universes cannot be counted. Even at present times, scientists accept that there are many universes. In the Milky Way in the sky, very small particles are seen. There are thousands of times greater universes than our universe. Whatever is written in our scriptures is true, whereas scientist accepts what they can directly perceive with their senses. But at least they accept that this universe is infinite. The speed of light is 3 laks per second. There is a star whose light comes to us after the passing of 48 years. There are such planets whose light has not come to earth until now.
So Mother Devaki said in SB 10.3.27 that the living entity is running away by the fear of death. This is why he makes so many arrangements to try and protect his life. Each person fears death so he is running 24 hours a day. Why does he sleep? He is in fear of death. But up to this time, he has not been able to escape from this fear.
Mother Devaki says that when one turns toward the lotus feet of the Lord, one is able look beyond infinite previous births:
“Today by attaining the shelter of your lotus feet I have found relief from all this fear.”