sabhyah srnuta bhadram vah
sadhavo ya ihagatah
satsu jijnasubhir dharmam
raja uvaca—the King began to speak; sabhyah—addressing the ladies and gentlemen; srnuta—kindly hear; bhadram—good fortune; vah—your; sadhavah—all great souls; ye—who; iha—here; agatah—present; satsu—unto the noble men; jijnasubhih—one who is inquisitive; dharmam—religious principles; avedyam—must be presented; sva-manisitam—concluded by someone.
King Prthu said: O gentle members of the assembly, may all good fortune be upon you! May all of you great souls who have come to attend this meeting kindly hear my prayer attentively. A person who is actually inquisitive must present his decision before an assembly of noble souls.
In this verse the word sadhavah (“all great souls”) is very significant. When a person is very great and famous, many unscrupulous persons become his enemies, for envy is the nature of materialists. In any meeting there are different classes of men, and it is to be supposed, therefore, that because Prthu Maharaja was very great, he must have had several enemies present in the assembly, although they could not express themselves. Maharaja Prthu, however, was concerned with persons who were gentle, and therefore he first addressed all the honest persons, not caring for the envious. He did not, however, present himself as a royal authority empowered to command everyone, for he wanted to present his statement in humble submission before the assembly of great sages and saintly persons. As a great king of the entire world, he could have given them orders, but he was so humble, meek and honest that he presented his statement for approval in order to clarify his mature decision. Everyone within this material world is conditioned by the modes of material nature and therefore has four defects. But although Prthu Maharaja was above all these, still, like an ordinary conditioned soul, he presented his statements to the great souls, sages and saintly persons present there.
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