Chapter Eight
SANKHACHUDA CONSOLES TULASI

At the palace, the mighty Sankhacuda went to the women's quarters and informed Tulasi about the imminent war. Hearing this, her palate, lips and throat became dry. With a sorrowful heart, she said to him, "O my lord, my friend, my master! Stay for a moment and sit within my heart. Fill me with life for a moment. Please satisfy my human desire. Let me gaze at you fully so that my eyes may be satisfied. My breathing is very agitated now. For at the end of night I had a very bad dream. Therefore, I feel a burning within myself."

The king finished his meal and, in truthful and beneficial words, said to Tulasi, "O my queen, when it is time to reap the results of one's past acts, one experiences good and evil, pleasure and pain, fear and sorrow. In time, trees grow, branches develop, flowers blossom and fruits appear. In time, the fruitful tree decays. Similarly, in time, human beings grow and decline. In time, the creator creates, the preserver preserves and the destroyer destroys. This is the law of creation, preservation and destruction. Therefore, you should always adore Lord Krsna, as He is the Lord of Brahma, Visnu and Siva; He is the creator, maintainer and destroyer, He has no beginning nor end, and He does not depend on material nature. Lord Krsna, by His own will, has manifested nature with its animate and inanimate objects.

"All things, from Lord Brahma down to a blade of grass, are artificial and temporary. In time, they grow and decay. Thus it would be better for you to adore Radha's consort, Lord Krsna, who is distinct from the three modes of material nature, who is the Supersoul within all and the Lord of all. Take shelter of Krsna, for it is by His command that the wind blows swiftly, the sun radiates heat, Indra pours rain, death visits human beings, fire burns, and the moon travels through the sky. Seek the Supreme Krsna, who is the death of death, the time of time, the creator of the creator, the preserver of the preserver and the destroyer of the destroyer. Take refuge in Him. My dearest, no one is a friend of anyone, but Lord Hari (Krsna) is the friend of all. Therefore, pray to Him and serve Him.

"My love, who am I and who are you? By our karma, Providence has united us. Providence will also separate us. When danger comes, only fools are disturbed. The wise are never thus shaken. Like wheels, pleasure and pain always revolve. In Badarikashrama you absorbed yourself in austerities to obtain Lord Narayana as your husband. Surely you will get Him. I myself practiced austerities to obtain you as my wife. And by Lord Brahma's grace I have gotten you. Very soon you will get Govinda in Goloka Vrndavana. And when I leave my demoniac body, I too shall go there. In that realm we will regularly see one another. By Radha's curse I was born in the precious land of India. But I will return to Goloka. Therefore, my dear, do not worry about me. You too will quit your human form and assume a spiritual form and go to Lord Hari. So you need not sorrow."

Tulasi was thus consoled.

Sankhacuda spent the night with Tulasi in the temple of gems, which was lit by diamond lamps. They rested on a nicely decorated bed that was strewn with flowers and anointed with sandal paste. Then Tulasi, who had not eaten any food and thus looked thin, became overwhelmed with grief and began weeping. The king, who knew the truth about life, clasped her to his chest and again appeased her in various ways. The spiritual instructions he had received in Bhandira Forest from Lord Krsna, which were capable of destroying all sorrows and delusions, he now carefully conveyed to Tulasi. Upon receiving them, her joy knew no bounds, for she realised that everything in this world is temporary. She and her husband then spent the remainder of the night in loving exchanges.

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