TEXT 22
sa esa jivan khalu sampareto
varteta yo ’tyanta-nrsamsitena
dehe mrte tam manujah sapanti
ganta tamo ’ndham tanu-manino dhruvam
SYNONYMS
sah—he; esah—that jealous person; jivan—while living; khalu—even; samparetah—is dead; varteta—continues to live; yah—anyone who; atyanta—very much; nrsamsitena—by executing cruel activities; dehe—when the body; mrte—is finished; tam—him; manujah—all human beings; sapanti—condemn; ganta—he will go; tamah andham—to hellish life; tanu-maninah—of a person in the bodily concept of life; dhruvam—without a doubt.
TRANSLATION
A person who is very cruel is regarded as dead even while living, for while he is living or after his death, everyone condemns him. And after the death of a person in the bodily concept of life, he is undoubtedly transferred to the hell known as Andhatama.
PURPORT
Kamsa considered that if he killed his sister, while living he would be condemned by everyone, and after death he would go to the darkest region of hellish life because of his cruelty. It is said that a cruel person like a butcher is advised not to live and not to die. While living, a cruel person creates a hellish condition for his next birth, and therefore he should not live; but he is also advised not to die, because after death he must go to the darkest region of hell. Thus in either circumstance he is condemned. Kamsa, therefore, having good sense about the science of the soul’s transmigration, deliberately refrained from killing Devaki.
In this verse the words ganta tamo ’ndham tanu-manino dhruvam are very important and require extensive understanding. Srila Jiva Gosvami, in his Vaisnava-tosani-tika, says: tatra tanu-maninah papina iti dehatma-buddhyaiva papabhiniveso bhavati. One who lives in the bodily concept, thinking, “I am this body,” involves himself, by the very nature of this conception, in a life of sinful activities. Anyone living in such a conception is to be considered a candidate for hell.
One who is in a bodily concept of life has no control over sense gratification. Such a person can do anything sinful to eat, drink, be merry and enjoy a life of sense gratification, not knowing of the soul’s transmigration from one body to another. Such a person does whatever he likes, whatever he imagines, and therefore, being subject to the laws of nature, he suffers miserably again and again in different material bodies.
yavat kriyas tavad idam mano vai
karmatmakam yena sarira-bandhah
(Bhag. 5.5.5)
In the bodily concept of life, a person is karmanubandha, or conditioned by karma, and as long as the mind is absorbed in karma, one must accept a material body. Sarira-bandha, bondage to the material body, is a source of misery (klesa-da).
na sadhu manye yata atmano ’yam
asann api klesada asa dehah
[SB 5.5.4]
Although the body is temporary, it always gives one trouble in many ways, but human civilization is now unfortunately based on tanu-mani, the bodily concept of life, by which one thinks, “I belong to this nation,” “I belong to this group,” “I belong to that group,” and so on. Each of us has his own ideas, and we are becoming increasingly involved, individually, socially, communally and nationally, in the complexities of karmanubandha, sinful activities. For the maintenance of the body, men are killing so many other bodies and becoming implicated in karmanubandha. Therefore Srila Jiva Gosvami says that tanu-mani, those in the bodily concept of life, are papi, sinful persons. For such sinful persons, the ultimate destination is the darkest region of hellish life (ganta tamo ’ndham). In particular, a person who wants to maintain his body by killing animals is most sinful and cannot understand the value of spiritual life. In Bhagavad-gita (16.19–20) the Lord says:
asurim yonim apanna
mudha janmani janmani
mam aprapyaiva kaunteya
tato yanty adhamam gatim
“Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, are cast by Me into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life. Attaining repeated birth among the species of demoniac life, such persons can never approach Me. Gradually they sink down to the most abominable type of existence.” A human being is meant to understand the value of human life, which is a boon obtained after many, many births. Therefore one must free oneself from tanu-mani, the bodily concept of life, and realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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