“For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.27)
जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्
ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च
तस्माद् अपरिहार्ये ऽर्थे
न त्वं शोचितुम् अर्हसि
jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur
dhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya ca
tasmād aparihārye ‘rthe
na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi
Friend1: Have you heard of the term, “God’s waiting room”?
Friend2: Haha, yes I have.
Friend1: Do you know what it refers to?
Friend2: I think it means a retirement community or a place where a lot of older folks live.
Friend1: Yes; often referring to the state of Florida in the United States.
Friend2: Nicer weather, so a lot of people shift there to retire. Arizona, too.
Friend1: I heard the phrase recently when describing mortality rates to a particular virus. Anyway, it got me to thinking.
Friend1: Time. Kala, as it is known in Sanskrit. This is one of the five major themes of Bhagavad-gita.
Friend2: Kala operates on every person. It is what delivers the changes resulting from karma. It integrates with prakriti, the material nature, which covers the individual soul, jiva.
Friend1: Where Ishvara manages the whole system.
Friend2: And Ishvara is the generic term for the Almighty. The closest equivalent to the English word “God.”
Friend1: I was thinking that the term could refer to every person, not just the elderly. I mean to say, aren’t we all in God’s waiting room, so to speak?
Friend2: That is an astute observation. Of course, we are.
Friend1: Because as soon as you are born, the clock starts ticking.
Friend2: Death is certain for the person who is born, which is confirmed by Shri Krishna in Bhagavad-gita.
Friend1: Such a strange reality. Those who are younger enjoy life in many ways. They don’t think about the end. The elderly are aware of it on a daily basis. The young keep thinking that it is way down the line, that old age won’t happen to them until later.
Friend2: But it will happen, nonetheless. There is no way to reverse it. Better to accept the reality seriously, today.
Friend1: Yes, but wouldn’t that make a person sad?
Friend2: Makes no difference. Also, in terms of karma you could say we are in Yamaraja’s waiting room. We don’t actually have to wait for God.
Friend1: Why not?
Friend2: Because He is always with us. He is a forever companion, living in the heart in the expansion of Supersoul, Paramatma. I don’t have to wait to see Him. I can find out the reality right now, today. In the process I could fix the many spoiled births of the past:
बिगरी जनम अनेक की सुधरै अबहीं आजु |
होहि राम को नाम जपु तुलसी तजि कुसमाजु ||
bigarī janama aneka kī sudharai abahīṃ āju |
hohi rāma ko nāma japu tulasī taji kusamāju ||
“The many past births you spoiled can be rectified right now, today, if you start chanting Shri Rama’s holy name and renounce bad association, says Tulsi.” (Dohavali, 22)
Friend1: A lot to digest there. Can you explain the Yamaraja reference?
Friend2: The god of justice. The equivalent of “judgment day”, as it is known to others. This life is preparation for the next. Every activity, good or bad, carries with it a consequence. Yamaraja is someone who reviews those activities and determines the appropriate consequences.
Friend1: How is that different from God?
Friend2: The Supreme Lord has nothing to do with karma. Even while witnessing as the Supersoul, He does not interfere with action. He is a neutral observer in that role, though He is always rooting for us to make the right decision.
Friend1: And what is that?
Friend2: Turning His direction. Become free from karma. No longer worry about Yamaraja and judgment day. Instead of thinking you are in a waiting room, realize that you can create the eternal heavenly realm around you right now. Feel as if you have died and gone to heaven. Live in the Vaikuntha atmosphere, be happy in God’s personal association, and blissfully chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Why in waiting room sitting,
When destined this body quitting?
Why of judgment day to fear,
When Supreme already near?
Why the reality to deny,
When for transcendence can try?
The eternal heaven today making,
When opportunity of bhakti taking.