TEXT 40
prajāpatir dharma-patir
ekadā niyamān yamān
bhadraṁ prajānām anvicchann
ātiṣṭhat svārtha-kāmyayā
SYNONYMS
prajā-patiḥ—the forefather of all living entities; dharma-patiḥ—the father of religious life; ekadā—once upon a time; niyamān—rules and regulations; yamān—principles of control; bhadram—welfare; prajānām—of the living beings; anvicchan—desiring; ātiṣṭhat—situated; sva-artha—own interest; kāmyayā—so desiring.
TRANSLATION
Thus once upon a time the forefather of living entities and the father of religiousness, Lord Brahmā, situated himself in acts of regulative principles, desiring self-interest for the welfare of all living entities.
PURPORT
One cannot be situated in an exalted position without having undertaken a regulative life of rules and regulations. An unrestricted life of sense gratification is animal life, and Lord Brahmā, in order to teach all concerned within the jurisdiction of his generations, taught the same principles of sense control for executing higher duties. He desired the welfare of all as servants of God, and anyone desiring the welfare of the members of his family and generations must conduct a moral, religious life. The highest life of moral principles is to become a devotee of the Lord because a pure devotee of the Lord has all the good qualities of the Lord. On the other hand, one who is not a devotee of the Lord, however qualified he may be in the mundane sense of the term, cannot be qualified with any good quality worthy of the name. The pure devotees of the Lord, like Brahmā and persons in the chain of disciplic succession, do not do anything to instruct their subordinates without acting accordingly themselves.

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