Baalaha taavat kreedaasaktaha
tarunaha taavat taruneesaktaha
vrddhaha taavat cintaasaktaha
pare brahmani ko’pi na saktaha
During childhood, a human being spends all his time carelessly playing, not having been burdened by any duties or responsibilities. The next pastime is his education. Thus his mind is always absorbed in food, games or studies.
Crossing his childhood and adolescence, he enters youth, where he is full of Rajoguna, and Tamoguna - immersed in a variety of activities and seductive habits. The mind will be in its blunt and dull format. The body will be well toned and the mind will be highly tremulous and fickle. He will be engulfed in bodily attractions, yearnings towards the opposite sex all along. He becomes dull and can never think of finer aspects. He will drift away in waves of emotions.
In old age, the body starts crumbling. Even though the mind is full of wants and desires, there will be no mental or physical strength in the body to fulfil them. Protection of money and the properties earned till now, becomes a major problem. Family starts neglecting and ill treating; and this becomes a major blow to his self respect and a source of continuous pain. Thus his mind is torn apart between these multifaceted pains, worries and miseries. Thus man is being pestered by worries throughout his life. With all these pains and problems, how can the mind turn towards God? Like Prahlada and Dhruva, he has not done Sadhana in childhood to reach the Lord. In the youth, he has neither worked like Narada nor Shuka to contemplate on God continuously. Nor his old age has been purposefully used as by Ajamila.
To be taken care of by God at all stages of your life and to spend a life full of joy and contentedness, there is only one sure solution - worship Govinda. If you want to welcome death like a beloved friend and if you wish to enjoy happiness, peace and contentment and Salvation on this earth and on this very birth, then go ahead - worship Govinda.
In childhood play well. All your sports, games should be such that not only the body get exercised, but the mind also should be deeply tinged with the divine thoughts. This is the very reason for introducing games like paramapada sopana, acting the thefts of Sri Krishna, practicing Archery like Rama and Arjuna; the festivities of Deepavali and Navarathri etc.
In the old age be always thinking. Think about what? Think about Madhava, about your treasure troves of Jnana, Bhakti and Vairagya.
Think about the glowing feet of the Parandhama, where you have to merge finally. Think about the treasure of sanskaras, which you want your progeny to have, so as to continue enjoying the divine treasures earned by you.
The article has been taken from the book A Torchlight in the Path of Salvation, Bhaja Govindam- Pray to Govinda by K V Varadaraja Iyengar