nunam suniteh pati-devatayas
tapah-prabhavasya sutasya tam gatim
drstvabhyupayan api veda-vadino
naivadhigantum prabhavanti kim nrpah
naradah uvaca—Narada said; nunam—certainly; suniteh—of Suniti; pati-devatayah—very much attached to her husband; tapah-prabhavasya—by the influence of austerity; sutasya—of the son; tam—that; gatim—position; drstva—observing; abhyupayan—the means; api—although; veda-vadinah—strict followers of the Vedic principles, or the so-called Vedantists; na—never; eva—certainly; adhigantum—to attain; prabhavanti—are eligible; kim—what to speak of; nrpah—ordinary kings.
The great sage Narada said: Simply by the influence of his spiritual advancement and powerful austerity, Dhruva Maharaja, the son of Suniti, who was devoted to her husband, acquired an exalted position not possible to attain even for the so-called Vedantists or strict followers of the Vedic principles, not to speak of ordinary human beings.
In this verse the word veda-vadinah is very significant. Generally, a person who strictly follows the Vedic principles is called veda-vadi. There are also so-called Vedantists who advertise themselves as followers of Vedanta philosophy but who misinterpret Vedanta. The expression veda-vada-ratah is also found in the Bhagavad-gita, referring to persons who are attached to the Vedas without understanding the purport of the Vedas. Such persons may go on talking about the Vedas or may execute austerities in their own way, but it is not possible for them to attain to such an exalted position as Dhruva Maharaja. As far as ordinary kings are concerned, it is not at all possible. The specific mention of kings is significant because formerly kings were also rajarsis, for the kings were as good as great sages. Dhruva Maharaja was a king, and at the same time he was as learned as a great sage. But without devotional service, neither a great king, a ksatriya, nor a great brahmana strictly adhering to the Vedic principles can be elevated to the exalted position attained by Dhruva Maharaja.
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