Without concern even for their own salvation, the Lord's pure devotees feel deep compassion for the suffering of others.
adhuneha maha-bhaga 
yathaiva narakan narah 
nanogra-yatanan neyat 
tan me vyakhyatum arhasi 
"0 greatly fortunate and opulent Sukadeva Goswami, now kindly tell me how human beings may be saved from having to enter hellish conditions in which they suffer terrible pains. " (Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.6) 

Srila Prabhupada

The universal planetary systems are very nicely explained in the Fifth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Within the universe there are some planets which are hellish. After hearing a description of the hellish planets from Sukadeva Goswami, Pariksit Maharaja said, "Sir, I have heard from you about the hellish planets. Men who are very sinful are sent to those planets." Pariksit Maharaja is a Vaisnava, a devotee, and a Vaisnava always feels compassion for others' distress. He is very afflicted by the miseries of others. When Lord Jesus Christ presented himself, for instance, he was greatly afflicted by the miserable conditions of the people. Regardless of which country or sect they belong to, all Vaiglavas, or devotees-any people who are God conscious or Krsna conscious- are thus compassionate. 
A Vaisnava thinks, "How can these people be delivered from their hellish life ?" That was Pariksit Maharaja's inquiry. "Sir," he said, "you have described that on account of one's sinful activities one is put into a hellish condition of life or in a hellish planetary system. Now, what are the counter methods by which such persons can be saved ?" This is the question. When a Vaisnava comes, when God Himself comes, or when God's son or His very condential devotees come, their only mission is to save the sinful persons who are suffering. They have knowledge of how to do this. 
When Prahlada Maharaja met Nrsirhhadeva{SB 7.9.43), he said, 
naivodvije para duratyaya vaitaranyas 
tvad- virya-gayana-mahamrta-magna- cittah 
soce tato vimukha-cetasa indriyartha
maya- sukhaya bharam udvahato vimudhan 
"My dear Lord," Prahlada says, "I am not very anxious for my own deliverance." Mayavadi, or impersonalist, philosophers are very careful that their personal salvation is not interrupted. They think, "If I go to preach in association with others, I may fall down, and my realization will be finished." Therefore they do not come. Only the Vaisnavas come-at the risk of fall down. But they do not fall down. They may even go to hell to deliver the conditioned souls. This is Prahlada Maharaja's mission. He says, naivodvije: "I am not very anxious about living in this material world." 
Prahlada Maharaja says further, "I have no anxiety for myself because somehow or other I have been trained to be always Krsna conscious." Because he is Krsna conscious, he is confident that in his next life he is going to Krsna. It is stated in Bhagavad-gita that if one executes the Krsna conscious regulative principles carefully, it is certain that he will reach the supreme destination in his next life. 
Prahlada Maharaja continues: "There is only one source of anxiety for me." Just see-although he had no anxiety for himself, he still had anxiety. He says, soce tato vimukha- cetasah: "I am anxious for those persons who are not Krsna conscious. That is my anxiety. For myself I have no anxiety, but I am thinking of those who are not Krsna conscious." Why aren't they Krsna conscious? Maya-sukhaya bharam udvahato vimukhan: These rascals have created a humbug civilization for temporary happiness. 
Actually this is a fact. We have a humbug civilization. So many cars are being manufactured every year, and for that purpose so many roads have to be excavated and prepared. In your country you have the greatest number of cars, but I have experienced that this also creates more problems. When my disciple Dayananda wanted to take me to a doctor in Los Angeles, I had to take the trouble to travel thirty miles before I could even consult the doctor. Once you create cars, then you must travel thirty or forty miles to meet your friends. 
You can go from New York to Boston in one hour, but it takes even longer than that just to get to the airport. This situation is called maya-sukhaya. Maya means false, illusory. We are trying to create some comfortable situation, but we have created another uncomfortable situation. This is the way of the material world. If we are nor satisfied by the natural comforts offered by God and nature and we want to create artificial comforts, then we have to create some discomfort also. Most people do not know that. They think they are creating a very comfortable situation, but actually they are traveling fifty miles to go to the office to earn a livelihood and fifty miles to come back. In Hawaii, one boy, Gaurasundara, was working to maintain our temple. Unfortunately he had to go fifty miles from the temple to work. I was very sorry to see that this boy had to go fifty miles for Krsna's sake, but now Krsna has given us the facility so that we don't have to work. 
Because of such conditions, Prahlada Maharaja says that these vimudhans-these materialistic persons, these rascals-have created an unnecessary burden on themselves simply for temporary happiness. Vimudhan … maya-sukhaya bharam udvahatah. Therefore, in Vedic civilization it is recommended that one free himself from material life, take sannyasa, the renounced order of life, and prosecute spiritual life with absolutely no anxiety. 
If one can execute Krsna consciousness in family life, that is very good. Bhaktivinoda Thakura was a family man, a magistrate, and still he executed devotional service so nicely. Dhruva Maharaja and Prahlada Maharaja were grhasthas, householders, but they trained themselves in such a way that even as householders they were faced with no interruption in their service. Therefore, Prahlada Maharaja says, "I have learned the art of always remaining in Krsna consciousness." What is that art? Tvad-viryagayana mahamrta-magna-cittah: simply glorifying the victorious activities and pastimes of the Lord. Virya means "very heroic." 
Krsna's activities are heroic. You can read about them in our book Krsna. Krsna's name, His fame, His activities, His associates and everything else are heroic. Prahlada Maharaja says in this connection, "I am certain that wherever I go, I can glorify Your heroic activities and be safe. There is no question of my falling down. But I am simply anxious for those persons who have created a civilization in which they are always busy working hard. I am thinking of them." 
Prahlada says further: 
prayena deva munayah svavimukti- kama 
maunam caranti vijane na parartha-nistah 
naitan vihaya krpanan vimumuksa eko 
nanyam tvad asya saranam bhramato 'nupasye 
"My dear Lord, there are many saintly persons and sages who are very interested in their own liberation. They try to live in solitary places like the Himalayan mountains. They do not talk to anyone, and they are always afraid of mixing with ordinary people in the city and becoming disturbed or maybe even falling down. They think, "Better let me save myself." 
Prahlada Maharaja regrets that these great saintly persons do not come to the city, where people have manufactured a civilization of very hard work all day and night. Such saints are not very compassionate. He says, "I am anxious for these fallen people who are unnecessarily working so hard simply for sense gratification." 
Even if there was some point in working that hard, such people do not know what it is. All they know is sex. Either they go to a naked dance or to a naked club or to this or that. Prahlada Maharaja says, naitan vihaye krpanan vimumuksa ekah. "My Lord, I do not need salvation alone. Unless I take all these fools with me, I shall not go." He refuses to go to the kingdom of God without taking all these fallen souls with him. This is a Vaisnava. Nanyam tvad asya saranam bhramato 'nupasye: "I simply want to teach them how to surrender unto You. That's all. That is my goal." 
The Vaisnava knows that as soon as one surrenders, one's path is clear. Naivodvije para duratyaya vaitaranyas tvad-virya-gayanamahamrta- magna-citta~: "Simply, somehow or other, let them bow down before Krsna." This is a simple method. All you have to do is bow down before Krsna with faith and say, "My Lord Krsna, I was forgetful of You for so long, for so many lives. Now I have come to consciousness; please accept me," That's all. If one simply learns this technique and sincerely surrenders himself to the Lord, his path is immediately open. 
Vaisnavas are always thinking about how the fallen conditioned souls can be delivered, just like the six Goswamis of Vrndavana, Lord Caitanya's direct disciples. That is stated by Srinivasa Acarya:
nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau
lokanam hita-karinau tri-bhuvane manyau saranyakarau 
radha-krsna-padaravinda-bhaja nanandena mattalikau 
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau 
"The six Goswamis, namely Sri Rupa Goswami, Sri Sanatana Goswami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, Sri Jiva Goswami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Goswami, are very expert in scrutinizingly studying all the revealed scriptures with the aim of establishing eternal religious principles for the benefit of all human beings. Thus they are honored all over the three worlds, and they are worth taking shelter of because they are always absorbed in the mood of the gopis and are engaged in the transcendental loving service of Radha and Krsna." 
With similar Vaisnava compassion, Pariksit Maharaja says to Sukadeva Goswami, "You have described the different types of hellish conditions of life. Somehow or other they have fallen down to this hellish life. But that does not mean that they should remain in that condition. There must be some means by which they can be delivered, so kindly explain that." 
Sukadeva Goswami replied: "Yes, I've already described the different types of hellish conditions and very severe painful life, but one has to counteract it." 
How can this be done? Sinful activities are committed in various ways. We can make a plan – "I shall kill that man." That is sinful. When the mind is thinking, feeling, and willing, then there is action. 
The other day I was reading in a book that if someone's dog barks at you when you are passing on the road, then that is an offense on the part of the dog-owner, according to law. The dog is simply barking, but it is sinful. The dog is not responsible because it is an animal, but because the owner of the animal has made the dog his best friend, he is responsible by law. If an outside dog enters your house, it may not be killed, but the owners of the dog may be prosecuted. 
Just as the barking of the dog is unlawful , so when you speak something offensive to others, that is also sinful. That is just like barking. 
Therefore sinful activities are committed in so many ways. Whether we think of sinful activities, or we speak someth ing sinful, or we actually commit a sinful activity, they are all considered sinful activities. Dhruvam sa vai pretya narakan upaiti. One has to suffer punishment for such sinful activities. 
People do not believe in a next life because they want to avoid this botheration . But we cannot avoid it. We must act according to the law, or we will be punished. Similarly, I can – not avoid God's law. That is not possible. I can cheat others, commit theft, and hide myself, thereby saving myself from the punishment of the state law, but I cannot save myself from the superior law, the law of nature. It is very difficult. There are so many witnesses. The daylight is witness, the moonlight is witness, and Krsna is the supreme witness sitting within your heart. He notes down what you are thinking and what you are doing. You cannot say, "I am committing this sin, but no one can see me." 
Pariksit Maharaja says here, "It is nor that if I say there is no God then there will be no God or I will not be responsible for what I do." That is the atheistic theory. Athe ists do not want God because they are always sinful. If they thought that there was God , then they would be forced to shudder at the thought of punishment. Therefore they deny the existence of God. They think that if they do not accept God then there is no punishment and they can do whatever they like. 
When rabbits are being attacked by bigger animals, they close their eyes and think, "I am not going to be killed." But they are killed anyway. Similarly, we may deny the existence of God and the law of God, but still God and His law are there. In the high court you may say, "I don't care for the law of the government," but you will be forced to accept the government law. If you deny the state law, then you will be put into prison and forced to suffer. Similarly, you may foolishly decry the existence of God-"There is no God" or "I am God"-but, nevertheless, you are responsible for all your actions, both good and bad. There are two kinds of activities – good and bad . If you act nicely and perform pious activities, then you get good fortune, and if you act sinfully, then you have to suffer. Therefore Sukadeva Goswami says: 
tasmat puraivasv iha papa niskrtau 
yateta mrtyor avipadyatatmana 
dosasya drstva guru-laghavam yatha 
bhisak cikitseta rujam nidanavit 
There are different kinds of atonement. If you commit a sin and counteract it by something else, that is atonement. 
There are examples of this in the Christian Bible. Sukadeva Goswami says, "You should know that you are responsible, and according to the gravity of sinful life, you should accept some type of atonement as described in the sastras, the scriptures." Just as a diseased person must go to a doctor and pay doctor bills as a form of atonement, according to the Vedic way of life there is a class of brahmanas to whom one should go for the prescribed atonement according to the sins one commits. Sukadeva Goswami continues the example: dosasya drstva guru-laghavam yatha bhisak cikitse ta rujam nidanavit. When you consult a physician , he prescribes an inexpensive medicine or a costly medicine according to the gravity of the disease. If you simply have a headache he may prescribe an aspirin, but if you have something very severe, he immediately prescribes a surgical operation that will cost a thousand dollars. Similarly, sinful life is a diseased condition, so one must follow the prescribed cure to become healthy. 
The missing point of modern civilization is that there is no educational system to instruct people on what happens after death. Without this knowledge of what happens after death, one dies like an animal. The animal does not know that he is going to have another body; he has no such knowledge. 
Human life is not meant for becoming an animal. You may have a very nice arrangement for eating, or many nice buildings for sleeping, or a very good arrangement for sex life, or a very good defense force to protect you, but that does not mean that you are a human being. That type of civilization is animal life. Animals are also interested in eating, sleeping, and sex life, and according to their own methods they defend also. Where, then, is the distinction between human life and animal life if you simply engage in these four principles of bodily nature? 
The distinction is made when a human being is inquisitive-"Why have I been put into this miserable condition? Is there any remedy for it? Is there any perpetual eternal life? I do not want to die. I want to live very happily and peacefully. Is there a chance of this? What is that method? What is that science?" When these inquiries are there and steps are taken to answer these questions, that is human civilization; otherwise it is doggish civilization, animal civilization. 
You may make great advancement in scientific knowledge, but there is no scientific solution to these four problems of birth, death, old age, and disease. 
One who is intelligent will be eager to solve these four prime problems. No one wants to die. But there is no remedy. I have to die. Everyone is very anxious to stop the increase of population by employing so many contraceptive methods, but still, birth is going on. So there is no stoppage of birth. You may invent up-to-date medicines by your scientific methods, but you cannot stop disease. It is not possible just to take a tablet to put an end to disease. 
In the Bhagavad-gita [13.10] it is said, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi duhkha- dosanu-darsanam: One might think that he has solved all the problems of his life, but where is the solution to these four problems of birth, death, old age, and disease? That solution is Krsna consciousness. 
Krsna also says [4.9]. janma karma co me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah/ tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so 'rjuna. Everyone of us is giving up our body at every moment. The last phase of giving up this body is called death. But Krsna says, "If anyone understands My appearance and disappearance and My activities- not superficially but in truth after giving up this body he never again accepts a material body." 
What happens to such a person? Mam eti: he returns to Krsna. If you are to go to Krsna, then you have to prepare your spiritual body. That is Krsna consciousness. If you keep yourself in Krsna consciousness, then gradually you prepare your next body, a spiritual body, which will carry you immediately to Krsnaloka, and you will become happy. You will live there perpetually and blissfully. 
Thank you very much.