Kā te kāntā kaste putraḥ saṃsāroyamatīva vicitraḥ |
Kasya tvaṃ vā kuta āyātaḥ tatvaṃ cintaya tadiha bhrātaḥ || 8 ||
Meaning – O brother, who is your wife? Who is your son? This samsāra that is replete with births and deaths is totally strange. To whom do you really belong? Where have you come from? Contemplate on this supreme truth while living in this gross body.
To thoroughly understand the meaning of this stanza, we should understand the story of King Chitraketu from Srimad Bhāgavatam. King Chitraketu had many wives yet remained childless for a very long time. Due to this he was dejected. Maharishi Angira once unexpectedly arrived at his kingdom. Understanding the agony of the king, the great sage performed a Yāga (sacrificial ritual) and handed over the prasadam to the first queen Kṛtadyuti. A little time later, Queen Kritadyuti was blessed with a baby boy.
The king who was blessed with a son after long period of time was unduly overjoyed. He spent all his time with his newborn and with Krtadyuti, thereby neglecting all other queens and administrative duties. Unable to bear this neglect the other queens were overcome by jealousy and therefore poisoned the little boy due to which he died.
Coming to know of his son’s death, King Chitraketu sat beside the dead body and was grieving piteously. Exactly at that minute, Maharishi Angira arrived there and consoled the king in the following manner, “O King, you are grieving for your deceased son. What is the relationship you have with this son in your previous birth, present birth and in your future one? Please think deeply. There is no rule that the being who was your father in your previous birth should necessarily be your father even in this birth. It is possible that this boy can be your father in another birth. It is also possible that there could be no relationship between the two of you. These are transitory relationships.
Just as the seeds emerging from a fruit disperse in different directions to emerge as separate trees, the souls who are born out of Paramatma and who are caught in time (kala), keeping meeting and separating periodically.
Therefore O king, it is wrong on your part to lament for your son. Please understand that all this is taking place because of illusion. Although per your horoscope, you were destined to remain childless, in order to give you some happiness I performed the yāga and ensured that you were blessed with a son. Please remember that the son born to you was illusory. With this recollection, please increase your detachment (vairagya). Without getting attached, continue to rule wisely. Begin performing selfless action. Offer all the fruits of your work to the Almighty”.
With this teaching, wisdom dawned upon King Chitraketu and he was absolved of all his grief.
From this we understand that the relationship between two beings is purely illusory. Every being that assumes a body has a fixed longevity. Based on this it is possible that at time children predecease the elders. The agony experienced by the elders at such time is unexplainable. In such situation, if the person stands firmly and recollects these facts about the illusory relationship, then it will be beneficial. There is a story that explains about indebtedness and how the soul is born in accordance to it. If this is understood then no person will grieve that he is childless.