nando mahā-manās tebhyo
ye ’nye vidyopajīvinaḥ
tais taiḥ kāmair adīnātmā
nandaḥ—Mahārāja Nanda; mahā-manāḥ—who among the cowherd men was the greatest of all upright persons; tebhyaḥ—unto the cowherd men; vāsaḥ—clothing; alaṅkāra—ornaments; go-dhanam—and cows; sūta-māgadha-vandibhyaḥ—unto the sūtas (the professional reciters of the old histories), the māgadhas (the professional reciters of the histories of royal dynasties) and the vandīs (general singers of prayers); ye anye—as well as others; vidyā-upajīvinaḥ—who were continuing their livelihood on the basis of educational qualifications; taiḥ taiḥ—with whatever; kāmaiḥ—improvements of desire; adīna-ātmā—Mahārāja Nanda, who was so magnanimous; yathā-ucitam—as was suitable; apūjayat—worshiped them or satisfied them; viṣṇoḥ ārādhana-arthāya—for the purpose of satisfying Lord Viṣṇu; sva-putrasya—of his own child; udayāya—for the improvement in all respects; ca—and.
The great-minded Mahārāja Nanda gave clothing, ornaments and cows in charity to the cowherd men in order to please Lord Viṣṇu, and thus he improved the condition of his own son in all respects. He distributed charity to the sūtas, the māgadhas, the vandīs, 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-nārāyaṇa, the words viṣṇor ārādhanārthāya do not mean that all the people satisfied by Nanda Mahārāja in this great ceremony were Viṣṇus. They were not daridra, nor were they Nārāyaṇa. Rather, they were devotees of Nārāyaṇa, and by their educational qualifications they would satisfy Nārāyaṇa. Therefore, satisfying them was an indirect way of satisfying Lord Viṣṇu. Mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā (Bhāg. 11.19.21). The Lord says, “Worshiping My devotees is better than worshiping Me directly.” The varṇāśrama system is entirely meant for viṣṇu-ārādhana, worship of Lord Viṣṇu. Varṇāśramācāravatā puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān/ viṣṇur ārādhyate (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 3.8.9). The ultimate goal of life is to please Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord. The uncivilized man or materialistic person, however, does not know this aim of life. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (Bhāg. 7.5.31). One’s real self-interest lies in satisfying Lord Viṣṇu. Not satisfying Lord Viṣṇu but instead attempting to become happy through material adjustments (bahir-artha-māninaḥ) is the wrong way for happiness. Because Viṣṇu is the root of everything, if Viṣṇu is pleased, everyone is pleased; in particular, one’s children and family members become happy in all respects. Nanda Mahārāja wanted to see his newborn child happy. That was his purpose. Therefore he wanted to satisfy Lord Viṣṇu, and to satisfy Lord Viṣṇu it was necessary to satisfy His devotees, such as the learned brāhmaṇas, māgadhas and sūtas. Thus, in a roundabout way, ultimately it was Lord Viṣṇu who was to be satisfied.
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