tato ’py āsīd bhayaṁ tv adya
kathaṁ syāt svasti dehinām
arājaka—being without a king; bhayāt—out of fear; eṣaḥ—this Vena; kṛtaḥ—was made; rājā—the king; a-tat-arhaṇaḥ—though not qualified for it; tataḥ—from him; api—also; āsīt—there was; bhayam—danger; tu—then; adya—now; katham—how; syāt—can there be; svasti—happiness; dehinām—of the people in general.
Thinking to save the state from irregularity, the sages began to consider that it was due to a political crisis that they made Vena king although he was not qualified. But alas, now the people were being disturbed by the king himself. Under such circumstances, how could the people be happy?
In Bhagavad-gītā (18.5) it is stated that even in the renounced order one should not give up sacrifice, charity and penance. The brahmacārīs must perform sacrifices, the gṛhasthas must give in charity, and those in the renounced order of life (the vānaprasthas and sannyāsīs) must practice penance and austerities. These are the procedures by which everyone can be elevated to the spiritual platform. When the sages and saintly persons saw that King Vena had stopped all these functions, they became concerned about the people’s progress. Saintly people preach God consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, because they are anxious to save the general populace from the dangers of animalistic life. There must be a good government to see that the citizens are actually executing their religious rituals, and thieves and rogues must be curbed. When this is done, the people can advance peacefully in spiritual consciousness and make their lives successful.
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