nando maha-manas tebhyo
ye ’nye vidyopajivinah
tais taih kamair adinatma
nandah—Maharaja Nanda; maha-manah—who among the cowherd men was the greatest of all upright persons; tebhyah—unto the cowherd men; vasah—clothing; alankara—ornaments; go-dhanam—and cows; suta-magadha-vandibhyah—unto the sutas (the professional reciters of the old histories), the magadhas (the professional reciters of the histories of royal dynasties) and the vandis (general singers of prayers); ye anye—as well as others; vidya-upajivinah—who were continuing their livelihood on the basis of educational qualifications; taih taih—with whatever; kamaih—improvements of desire; adina-atma—Maharaja Nanda, who was so magnanimous; yatha-ucitam—as was suitable; apujayat—worshiped them or satisfied them; visnoh aradhana-arthaya—for the purpose of satisfying Lord Visnu; sva-putrasya—of his own child; udayaya—for the improvement in all respects; ca—and.
The great-minded Maharaja Nanda gave clothing, ornaments and cows in charity to the cowherd men in order to please Lord Visnu, and thus he improved the condition of his own son in all respects. He distributed charity to the sutas, the magadhas, the vandis, and men of all other professions, according to their educational qualifications, and satisfied everyone’s desires.
Although it has become fashionable to speak of daridra-narayana, the words visnor aradhanarthaya do not mean that all the people satisfied by Nanda Maharaja in this great ceremony were Visnus. They were not daridra, nor were they Narayana. Rather, they were devotees of Narayana, and by their educational qualifications they would satisfy Narayana. Therefore, satisfying them was an indirect way of satisfying Lord Visnu. Mad-bhakta-pujabhyadhika (Bhag. 11.19.21). The Lord says, “Worshiping My devotees is better than worshiping Me directly.” The varnasrama system is entirely meant for visnu-aradhana, worship of Lord Visnu. Varnasramacaravata purusena parah puman/ visnur aradhyate (Visnu Purana 3.8.9). The ultimate goal of life is to please Lord Visnu, the Supreme Lord. The uncivilized man or materialistic person, however, does not know this aim of life. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum (Bhag. 7.5.31). One’s real self-interest lies in satisfying Lord Visnu. Not satisfying Lord Visnu but instead attempting to become happy through material adjustments (bahir-artha-maninah) is the wrong way for happiness. Because Visnu is the root of everything, if Visnu is pleased, everyone is pleased; in particular, one’s children and family members become happy in all respects. Nanda Maharaja wanted to see his newborn child happy. That was his purpose. Therefore he wanted to satisfy Lord Visnu, and to satisfy Lord Visnu it was necessary to satisfy His devotees, such as the learned brahmanas, magadhas and sutas. Thus, in a roundabout way, ultimately it was Lord Visnu who was to be satisfied.
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