nūnaṁ sunīteḥ pati-devatāyās
tapaḥ-prabhāvasya sutasya tāṁ gatim
dṛṣṭvābhyupāyān api veda-vādino
naivādhigantuṁ prabhavanti kiṁ nṛpāḥ
nāradaḥ uvāca—Nārada said; nūnam—certainly; sunīteḥ—of Sunīti; pati-devatāyāḥ—very much attached to her husband; tapaḥ-prabhāvasya—by the influence of austerity; sutasya—of the son; tām—that; gatim—position; dṛṣṭvā—observing; abhyupāyān—the means; api—although; veda-vādinaḥ—strict followers of the Vedic principles, or the so-called Vedāntists; na—never; eva—certainly; adhigantum—to attain; prabhavanti—are eligible; kim—what to speak of; nṛpāḥ—ordinary kings.
The great sage Nārada said: Simply by the influence of his spiritual advancement and powerful austerity, Dhruva Mahārāja, the son of Sunīti, who was devoted to her husband, acquired an exalted position not possible to attain even for the so-called Vedāntists or strict followers of the Vedic principles, not to speak of ordinary human beings.
In this verse the word veda-vādinaḥ is very significant. Generally, a person who strictly follows the Vedic principles is called veda-vādi. There are also so-called Vedāntists who advertise themselves as followers of Vedānta philosophy but who misinterpret Vedānta. The expression veda-vāda-ratāḥ is also found in the Bhagavad-gītā, 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 Mahārāja. 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 rājarṣis, for the kings were as good as great sages. Dhruva Mahārāja 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 kṣatriya, nor a great brāhmaṇa strictly adhering to the Vedic principles can be elevated to the exalted position attained by Dhruva Mahārāja.
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