dehinam iha dehisu
pranair arthair dhiya vaca
etavat—up to this; janma—of birth; saphalyam—perfection; dehinam—of every living being; iha—in this world; dehisu—toward those who are embodied; pranaih—by life; arthaih—by wealth; dhiya—by intelligence; vaca—by words; sreyah—eternal good fortune; acaranam—acting practically; sada—always.
"It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with his life, wealth, intelligence and words."
There are two kinds of general activities-sreyas, or activities which are ultimately beneficial and auspicious, and preyas, or those which are immediately beneficial and auspicious. For example, children are fond of playing. They don't want to go to school to receive an education, and they think that to play all day and night and enjoy with their friends is the aim of life. Even in the transcendental life of Lord Krsna, we find that when He was a child He was very fond of playing with His friends of the same age, the cowherd boys. He would not even go home to take His dinner. Mother Yasoda would have to come out to induce Him to come home. Thus it is a child's nature to engage all day and night in playing, not caring even for his health and other important concerns. This is an example of preyas, or immediately beneficial activities. But there are also sreyas, or activities which are ultimately auspicious. According to Vedic civilization, a human being must be God conscious. He should understand what God is, what this material world is, who he is, and what their interrelationships are. This is called sreyas, or ultimately auspicious activity.
In this verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that one should be interested in sreyas. To achieve the ultimate goal of sreyas, or good fortune, one should engage everything, including his life, wealth and words, not only for himself but for others also. However, unless one is interested in sreyas in his own life, he cannot preach of sreyas for the benefit of others.
This verse cited by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu applies to human beings, not to animals. As indicated in the previous verse by the words manusya-janma, these injunctions are for human beings. Unfortunately, human beings, although they have the bodies of men, are becoming less than animals in their behavior. This is the fault of modern education. Modern educators do not know the aim of human life; they are simply concerned with how to develop the economic condition of their countries or of human society. This is also necessary; the Vedic civilization considers all aspects of human life, including dharma (religion), artha (economic development), kama (sense gratification) and moksa (liberation). But humanity's first concern should be religion. To be religious, one must abide by the orders of God, but unfortunately people in this age have rejected religion, and they are busy in economic development. Therefore they will adopt any means to get money. For economic development one does not need to get money by hook or by crook; one needs only sufficient money to maintain his body and soul. However, because modern economic development is going on with no religious background, people have become lusty, greedy and mad after money. They are simply developing the qualities of rajas (passion) and tamas (ignorance), neglecting the other quality of nature, sattva (goodness), and the brahminical qualifications. Therefore the entire society is in chaos.
The Bhagavatam says that it is the duty of an advanced human being to act in such a way as to facilitate human society's attainment of the ultimate goal of life. There is a similar verse in the Visnu Purana, Part Three, Chapter Twelve, verse 45, which is quoted in this chapter of Caitanya-caritamrta as verse 43.
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