tasyapi tava deho 'yam
paraity anicchato jirno
jaraya vasasi iva
tasya—of this; api—in spite of; tava—your; dehah—body; ayam—this; krpanasya—of one who is miserly; jijivisoh—of you who desire life; paraiti—will dwindle; anicchatah—even unwilling; jirnah—deteriorated; jaraya—old; vasasi—garments; iva—like.
Despite your unwillingness to die and your desire to live even at the cost of honor and prestige, your miserly body will certainly dwindle and deteriorate like an old garment.
The words krpanasya jijivisoh are significant. There are two classes of men. One is called the krpana, and the other is called the brahmana. The krpana, or the miserly man, has no estimation of his material body, but the brahmana has a true estimation of himself and the material body. The krpana, having a wrong estimation of his material body, wants to enjoy sense gratification with his utmost strength, and even in old age he wants to become a young man by medical treatment or otherwise. Dhrtarastra is addressed herein as a krpana because without any estimation of his material body he wants to live at any cost. Vidura is trying to open his eyes to see that he cannot live more than his term and that he must prepare for death. Since death is inevitable, why should he accept such a humiliating position for living? It is better to take the right path, even at the risk of death. Human life is meant for finishing all kinds of miseries of material existence, and life should be so regulated that one can achieve the desired goal. Dhrtarastra, due to his wrong conception of life, had already spoiled eighty percent of his achieved energy, so it behooved him to utilize the remaining days of his miserly life for the ultimate good. Such a life is called miserly because one cannot properly utilize the assets of the human form of life. Only by good luck does such a miserly man meet a self-realized soul like Vidura and by his instruction gets rid of the nescience of material existence.
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