balisa bata yuyam va
ye vrttidam patim hitva
jaram patim upasate
venah—King Vena; uvaca—replied; balisah—childish; bata—oh; yuyam—all of you; va—indeed; adharme—in irreligious principles; dharma-maninah—accepting as religious; ye—all of you who; vrttidam—providing maintenance; patim—husband; hitva—giving up; jaram—paramour; patim—husband; upasate—worship.
King Vena replied: You are not at all experienced. It is very much regrettable that you are maintaining something which is not religious and are accepting it as religious. Indeed, I think you are giving up your real husband, who maintains you, and are searching after some paramour to worship.
King Vena was so foolish that he accused the saintly sages of being inexperienced like small children. In other words, he was accusing them of not having perfect knowledge. In this way he could reject their advice and make accusations against them, comparing them to a woman who does not care for her husband who maintains her but goes to satisfy a paramour who does not maintain her. The purpose of this simile is apparent. It is the duty of the ksatriyas to engage the brahmanas in different types of religious activities, and the king is supposed to be the maintainer of the brahmanas. If the brahmanas do not worship the king but instead go to the demigods, they are as polluted as unchaste women.
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