We fear that if we are liberated, doing bhajana, then we will be lost. Actually, Indra, by thinking like this, once committed some offense at the lotus feet of his Gurudeva, Bṛhaspati. Immediately he was removed to this world as a hog. In this form he was tasting worldly desires and playing with so many she-hog wives. And he had so many children, sons and daughters! Gradually they were growing up, so many, many, many of them, and Indra was quite happy. There was no problem for taking food, or acquiring a very good palatial building to live in, or getting any luxurious possessions. He was so happy living as a pig.
One day Brahmā came on his way to Puṣkara. He saw that pig and recognized him. “Oh, this hog is not a hog. Actually it is Indra in this hog body because he insulted his Gurudeva.” Brahmā became very merciful to him and told him, “You are not a hog. These are not your wives and children. You should come with me to your original place, heaven.” He was filled with wonder. “I cannot go there.”
“Oh, would I have to leave my most beautiful family, sons, daughters and my wives? I have so many, not only one but more than sixty thousand, so many! How can I leave them? I cannot go there. I am so happy here. You should go. I will not go.”
Brahmā was astonished. “You are not going? But there everything is so wonderful. Here is only some nonsense. Immersed in nonsense, you are here with the pigs, taking stool from here and there and sleeping in the stinking, rotting drains. So you should come with me.” Indra asked, “May I go with my children and my wives? And will we have some new, new fresh stools to eat there?”
“No, no. You will have nectar there, nectar!”
“I do not want nectar, I want these things.”
“Acchā. I will give you.” And thus saying, he sprinkled some water from his kamaṇḍalu and spoke, “Maṅgalam bhavatū, maṅgalam bhavatū. All auspiciousness unto you.” As Brahmā began to take him, Indra jumped at Brahmā and began to attack him. “I will never go.” But mercifully Brahmā sprinkled some more water on him. Indra could then see the truth. “Oh really, how bad this place is. In heaven my wife is waiting for me and all are worried for me. There are so many beautiful apsarās there like Menakā, Urvasī and all others. Nectar is there. I can play there in the beautiful nandana-kānana which is filled with pārijāta-puṣpa, and so many other wonderful things. Oh, I must go there.” Then he prayed to Brahmā, who again sprinkled some water on him. He became pure Indra, giving up his inauspicious body, and at once he went to heaven.
So our condition is like that. We are thinking that we are most happy with “My very dear wife. If she is not so beautiful, then I can manage some new arrangement. I can divorce and take a new wife. And after some time when she becomes old, then again I can change.” And the wives are also thinking, “I will change my husband one, two, three times if I like!”
But there are so many problems in human life, more than for pigs and hogs. They can sleep but we cannot. We are so much involved in problems. The biggest one is that now we are moving into old age. Old age is coming on, and now white hairs are appearing here and there. If there are one or two, I will pluck them out. But if they are scattered here and there, everywhere, then what to do? If one tooth falls out, no harm, I will replace it with a golden tooth. But all? And at last we will die, giving up everything here. So we should be very sober.
We think that we are quite okay, that we will have a beautiful husband or wife, but there exists something much greater than this happiness. Especially in Goloka Vṛndāvana, where only Kṛṣṇa is beloved. We must pray that we can serve him. We cannot imagine what nectar is there. If a man realizes this, then he will become very detached. He will take the renounced order and he won’t even notice all these things, whether she is beautiful, he is beautiful, that is beautiful, or anything in this world is beautiful. Like Śukadeva Gosvāmī, like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, like Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. One day we will have to be like Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. One day we will have to be like the prostitute who became a very high-class devotee. Giving all her possessions to others, she became niṣkiñcana, akiñcana, only serving Tulasī and keeping no desires at all. We will have to be like her.
―Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja