śiśoḥ sutaruṇasya vā na khalu mṛtyur ākasmikaḥ |
tad adya niravadya-dhīr avapur-indriyāsaktiko
na kiñcana vicāraya drutam upaihi vṛndāvanam ||
Do you know when you will die, my friend? Do not even infants or youths sometimes meet death unexpectedly? Therefore, on this very day, with clear intelligence, without attachment to the body or the senses, think of nothing and run quickly to Vrindavan. (1.78)
We saw a similar verse in 1.50. As there, we can say that this is a return to basics. As always, such reminders are more than appropriate from time to time. The Bhāgavatam — indeed all the scriptures — also repeatedly reminds us of the importance of this fleeting human body and its true purpose,
mānuṣyam arthadam anityam apīha dhīraḥ
tūrṇaṁ yateta na pated anumṛtyu yāvat
niḥśreyasāya viṣayaḥ khalu sarvataḥ syāt
After many, many births, one finally is born in a most rare and valuable human body which provides an opportunity to attain the supreme goal, but is nevertheless temporary. Therefore, the wise individual should immediately take up the effort to find that which provides the supreme good in all times and circumstances, and not give up that effort unto the very moment of his death. (SB 11.9.29)
plavaṁ sukalpaṁ guru-karṇa-dhāram|
pumān bhavābdhiṁ na taret sa ātmahā ||
This human body is the root of all benefits. It seems so easily obtained, yet is in fact extremely rare. It is like a boat especially designed for crossing the ocean of material existence. If one has a spiritual master to guide him like the boat’s helmsman and is given the favorable winds of my mercy, and yet still fails to cross over, then he is willfully committing suicide. (11.20.17)
In the Gita Krishna states that the particular state of consciousness we attain at the moment of death determines our next state of being.
yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajaty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ
The state of being one remembers
at the time one leaves the body,
is that to which one goes, for that
is the nature to which he belongs.
In the modern world, it is considered “anti-life” to think of anything after the brief few years one spends in this body. It seems self-defeating to live in preparation for an afterlife that no one can really prove. The skeptics have the upper hand when it comes to life after death and a belief in the philosophy of the soul. To some extent this is true; the life of the present is the most important, but this does not mean that it is not to be spiritual. In the modern age, it is necessary to show that the spiritual world, the inner world of the soul, is transformative and beneficial for life in the outer world.
This is indeed confirmed in the tradition. The Bengali Vaishnavas quote the following anonymous verse:
ekhāne jadi ihā dekhite nā pāo, marile dekhibe ke ?
Sādhana is to be practiced here this world, but the attainment of siddhi must also happen here. The Divine Truth is accessible [internally] through one’s emotional state of being (bhāva). Therefore, if you are unable to see that Truth here and now, then who do you think will be there to see it after you die?
So it is in this optic that we glorify Vrindavan. If one adopts the Vaishnava path of devotion to Radha Krishna, it culminates in Vrindavan. That is where this world meets that.
See previous 1.77.