“Driven by a virtuous or evil purpose, each living entity performs some work, which has consequences associated with it. After death, the same person steadily reaps all those auspicious and inauspicious results.” (Hanuman speaking to Tara, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 21.2)
गुणदोषकृतं जन्तुस्स्वकर्म फलहेतुकम्।
अव्यग्रस्तदवाप्नोति सर्वं प्रेत्य शुभाशुभम्
guṇadoṣakṛtaṃ jantussvakarma phalahetukam।
avyagrastadavāpnoti sarvaṃ pretya śubhāśubham
“I swear, these world leaders behave as if nothing will happen to them. They think there will be no consequences for their heinous actions. Everyone knows how they lie, cheat and steal. Most of it is out in the open, caught on tape.
“For instance, they will pass a new ordinance requiring everyone to obstruct their breathing while out in public. This applies to children in school, as well. I can’t imagine more vicious torture, especially when in an environment that is already unsettling. Most of those children have no idea about hypoxia, bacterial pneumonia, anxiety, infection, and other such risks associated with that disgusting practice forced upon them.
“Meanwhile, the leaders will be immune from the law. They will walk around in freedom. They don’t cover their faces anywhere. They intentionally withhold life-saving medication from the general population, claiming that it is unsafe. But then we learn that they are taking the same medication themselves. They don’t believe in the fake science that they push on everyone else.
“From history, we know that such duplicity does not end well. We have those leaders from France who looked up at the guillotine. There have been bloody revolutions ever since the history books started. The general population doesn’t take too kindly to being lied to and forced into poverty and dangerous health conditions.
“There is more, however. These leaders act as if no one is watching. They think that nothing will happen to them in the afterlife. Are they not afraid? Do they think they will never die? Do they seriously believe everything will be okay moving forward? I just fail to comprehend. I cannot put myself in their place.”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada says that everyone submits to the will of the Lord eventually. Despite their obstinacy, their denials, their desperate pleas for others to believe that everything in this universe just happened to intelligently coordinate through randomness, the destiny is to meet the Almighty.
The devoted souls notice God everywhere. In the bright sunshine after a week of cloudiness. In the beautiful sunset. In the face of a newborn. In the love and support of family, friends and community. In the timely arrival of punishment for the wicked. In the renewing opportunity to glorify and serve through the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
The atheist doesn’t notice God in any of these things, but at the time of death they are forced into a meeting. This feature of the Almighty is known as kala in Sanskrit. The word is synonymous with time, which is the great devouring agent.
The lowest among mankind may try to desperately cling to their temporary life, but kala strikes without fear or hesitation. Kala has yet to be defeated. This is one reason God is known as Achyuta and Ajita.
The eventual meeting is not pleasant, as the atheist must finally admit that they were wrong. They will not get to stay where they are. They must leave everything behind. They could not retain their level of enjoyment perpetually.
What is worse is that they are guaranteed to suffer in the future. The negative consequences to their crimes must apply. Time deals a commensurate blow, one that is unavoidable. If only the affected individual would have listened to wise counsel prior, when they had the chance.
Shri Hanuman explains this principle in the Ramayana. It applies to both good and bad. If we believe in his authority, if we take his word for it, then the wise choice would be to accumulate as many auspicious credits as possible. At the very least, we will get to enjoy in the afterlife. We will be paying it forward, for both ourselves and the society around us.
After all, dharma is for the benefit of every person affected. Just as the tyrannical leader causes trouble for many citizens with their unjust laws, so dharma lifts every person up to a higher standard. For the person following and leading by example, they benefit for themselves and also influence others in the proper direction.
यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जनः ।
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते ॥
yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
“Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.21)
In the same light, a leader who is envious of God leads their followers astray. Either way, the results will arrive in a timely manner. Just when necessary, according to the Divine will. The devoted souls are not afraid of such a moment, as they are always connected to Bhagavan in consciousness, in the link known as yoga.
Not of final moments to think,
Since connected always in link.
Whereas atheists ignoring so,
Not the final end to know.
Where Supreme as kala to blow,
The face as death to show.
Future commensurate with original deeds,
Better the saintly advice to heed.