TEXT 17
yas ca mudhatamo loke
yas ca buddheh param gatah
tav ubhau sukham edhete
klisyaty antarito janah
SYNONYMS
yah—one who is; ca—also; mudha-tamah—the lowest of the fools; loke—in the world; yah ca—and one who is; buddheh—of intelligence; param—transcendental; gatah—gone; tau—of them; ubhau—both; sukham—happiness; edhete—enjoy; klisyati—suffer; antaritah—situated between; janah—persons.
TRANSLATION
Both the lowest of fools and he who is transcendental to all intelligence enjoy happiness, whereas persons between them suffer the material pangs.
PURPORT
The lowest of fools do not understand material miseries; they pass their lives merrily and do not inquire into the miseries of life. Such persons are almost on the level of the animals, who, although in the eyes of superiors are always miserable in life, are unaware of material distresses. A hog’s life is degraded in its standard of happiness, which entails living in a filthy place, engaging in sex enjoyment at every opportune moment, and laboring hard in a struggle for existence, but this is unknown to the hog. Similarly, human beings who are unaware of the miseries of material existence and are happy in sex life and hard labor are the lowest of fools. Yet because they have no sense of miseries, they supposedly enjoy so-called happiness. The other class of men, those who are liberated and are situated in the transcendental position above intelligence, are really happy and are called paramahamsas. But persons who are neither like hogs and dogs nor on the level of the paramahamsas feel the material pangs, and for them inquiry about the Supreme Truth is necessary. The Vedanta-sutra states, athato brahma jijnasa: “Now one should inquire about Brahman.” This inquiry is necessary for those who are between the paramahamsas and the fools who have forgotten the question of self-realization in the midst of life in sense gratification.

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