TEXT 13
kaccin nah kusalam natha
indriyarthartha-vedinam
vyasanavapa etasmin
patitanam sva-karmabhih
SYNONYMS
kaccit—whether; nah—our; kusalam—good fortune; nathah—O masters; indriya-artha—sense gratification as the ultimate goal of life; artha-vedinam—persons who understand only sense gratification; vyasana—illness; avape—got; etasmin—in this material existence; patitanam—those who are fallen; sva-karmabhih—by their own ability.
TRANSLATION
Prthu Maharaja inquired from the sages about persons entangled in this dangerous material existence because of their previous actions; could such persons, whose only aim is sense gratification, be blessed with any good fortune?
PURPORT
Maharaja Prthu did not ask the Kumaras about their good fortune, for the Kumaras are always auspicious by dint of their life in celibacy. Since they are always engaged on the path of liberation, there was no question of ill fortune. In other words, brahmanas and Vaisnavas who are strictly following the path of spiritual advancement are always fortunate. The question was asked by Prthu Maharaja for his own sake, since he was in the position of a grhastha and in charge of the royal authority. Kings are not only grhasthas, who are generally absorbed in sense gratification, but are sometimes employed to kill animals in hunting because they have to practice the killing art, otherwise it is very difficult for them to fight their enemies. Such things are not auspicious. Four kinds of sinful activities—associating with woman for illicit sex, eating meat, intoxication and gambling—are allowed for the ksatriyas. For political reasons, sometimes they have to take to these sinful activities. Ksatriyas do not refrain from gambling. One vivid example is the Pandavas. When the Pandavas were challenged by the opposite party, Duryodhana, to gamble and risk their kingdom, they could not refrain, and by that gambling they lost their kingdom, and their wife was insulted. Similarly, the ksatriyas cannot refrain from fighting if challenged by the opposite party. Therefore Prthu Maharaja, taking consideration of all these facts, inquired whether there is any auspicious path. Grhastha life is inauspicious because grhastha means consciousness for sense gratification, and as soon as there is sense gratification, one’s position is always full of dangers. This material world is said to be padam padam yad vipadam na tesam, dangerous in every step (Bhag. 10.14.58). Everyone in this material world is struggling hard for sense gratification. Clearing all these points, Maharaja Prthu inquired from the four Kumaras about the fallen conditioned souls who are rotting in this material world due to their past bad or inauspicious activities. Is there any possibility for their auspicious spiritual life? In this verse, the word indriyarthartha-vedinam is very significant. It indicates persons whose only aim is to satisfy the senses. They are also described as patitanam, or fallen. Only one who stops all activities for sense gratification is considered to be elevated. Another significant word is sva-karmabhih. One becomes fallen by dint of his own past bad activities. Everyone is responsible for his fallen condition because of his own activities. When activities are changed to devotional service, one’s auspicious life begins.

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