TEXT 10
ye me tanūr dvija-varān duhatīr madīyā
bhūtāny alabdha-śaraṇāni ca bheda-buddhyā
drakṣyanty agha-kṣata-dṛśo hy ahi-manyavas tān
gṛdhrā ruṣā mama kuṣanty adhidaṇḍa-netuḥ
SYNONYMS
ye—which persons; me—My; tanūḥ—body; dvija-varān—the best of the brāhmaṇas; duhatīḥ—cows; madīyāḥ—relating to Me; bhūtāni—living entities; alabdha-śaraṇāni—defenseless; ca—and; bheda-buddhyā—considering as different; drakṣyanti—see; agha—by sin; kṣata—is impaired; dṛśaḥ—whose faculty of judgment; hi—because; ahi—like a snake; manyavaḥ—angry; tān—those same persons; gṛdhrāḥ—the vulturelike messengers; ruṣā—angrily; mama—My; kuṣanti—tear; adhidaṇḍa-netuḥ—of the superintendent of punishment, Yamarāja.
TRANSLATION
The brāhmaṇas, the cows and the defenseless creatures are My own body. Those whose faculty of judgment has been impaired by their own sin look upon these as distinct from Me. They are just like furious serpents, and they are angrily torn apart by the bills of the vulturelike messengers of Yamarāja, the superintendent of sinful persons.
PURPORT
The defenseless creatures, according to Brahma-saṁhitā, are the cows, brāhmaṇas, women, children and old men. Of these five, the brāhmaṇas and cows are especially mentioned in this verse because the Lord is always anxious about the benefit of the brāhmaṇas and the cows and is prayed to in this way. The Lord especially instructs, therefore, that no one should be envious of these five, especially the cows and brāhmaṇas. In some of the Bhāgavatam readings, the word duhitṝḥ is used instead of duhatīḥ. But in either case, the meaning is the same. Duhatīḥ means “cow,” and duhitṝḥ can also be used to mean “cow” because the cow is supposed to be the daughter of the sun-god. Just as children are taken care of by the parents, women as a class should be taken care of by the father, husband or grown-up son. Those who are helpless must be taken care of by their respective guardians, otherwise the guardians will be subjected to the punishment of Yamarāja, who is appointed by the Lord to supervise the activities of sinful living creatures. The assistants, or messengers, of Yamarāja are likened here to vultures, and those who do not execute their respective duties in protecting their wards are compared to serpents. Vultures deal very seriously with serpents, and similarly the messengers will deal very seriously with neglectful guardians.

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