so ’nveṣamāṇaḥ śaraṇaṁ
babhrāma pṛthivīṁ prabhuḥ
abhūt sa vimanā iva
saḥ—that King Purañjana; anveṣamāṇaḥ—searching after; śaraṇam—shelter; babhrāma—traveled over; pṛthivīm—the whole planet earth; prabhuḥ—to become an independent master; na—never; anurūpam—to his liking; yadā—when; avindat—he could find; abhūt—became; saḥ—he; vimanāḥ—morose; iva—like.
King Purañjana began to search for a suitable place to live, and thus he traveled all over the world. Even after a great deal of traveling, he could not find a place just to his liking. Finally he became morose and disappointed.
The travelings of Purañjana are similar to the travelings of the modern hippies. Generally hippies are sons of great fathers and great families. It is not that they are always poor. But some way or another they abandon the shelter of their rich fathers and travel all over the world. As stated in this verse, the living entity wants to become a prabhu, or master. The word prabhu means “master,” but actually the living entity is not a master; he is the eternal servant of God. When the living entity abandons the shelter of God, Kṛṣṇa, and tries to become a prabhu independently, he travels all over the creation. There are 8,400,000 species of life and millions and millions and trillions of planets within the creation. The living entity wanders throughout these various types of bodies and throughout different planets, and thus he is like King Purañjana, who traveled all over the world looking for a suitable place to live.
Śrī Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has sung, karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa, kevala viṣera bhāṇḍa: “The path of karma-kāṇḍa [fruitive activities] and the path of jñāna-kāṇḍa [speculation] are just like strong pots of poison.” Amṛta baliyā yebā khāya, nānā yoni sadā phire: “A person who mistakes this poison to be nectar and drinks it travels in different species of life.” Kadarya bhakṣaṇa kare: “And, according to his body, he eats all types of abominable things.” For instance, when the living entity is in the body of a hog, he eats stool. When the living entity is in the body of a crow, he eats all kinds of refuse, even pus and mucus, and enjoys it. Thus Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura points out that the living entity travels in different types of bodies and eats all kinds of abominable things. When he does not become ultimately happy, he becomes morose or takes to the ways of hippies.
Thus in this verse it is said (na anurūpam) that the King could never find a place suitable for his purposes. This is because in any form of life and on any planet in the material world, a living entity cannot be happy because everything in the material world is unsuitable for the spirit soul. As stated in this verse, the living entity independently wants to become a prabhu, but as soon as he gives up this idea and becomes a servant of God, Kṛṣṇa, his happiness immediately begins. Therefore Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura sings:
“My dear living entity, why are you being carried away by the waves of māyā?” As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.61):
“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.”
The living entity is carried in the machine of the body through so many species of life on so many planets. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura asks the living entity why he is being carried away in these bodily machines to be placed in so many different circumstances. He advises that one surmount the waves of māyā by surrendering unto Kṛṣṇa.
“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.” (Bg. 18.66)
Thus we are immediately relieved from traveling from one body to another and from one planet to another. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says: brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva (Cc. Madhya 19.151). If, while traveling, a living entity becomes fortunate enough to become blessed by the association of devotees and to come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his real life actually begins. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is giving all wandering living entities a chance to take to the shelter of Kṛṣṇa and thus become happy.
In this verse the words vimanā iva are very significant. In this material world even the great King of heaven is also full of anxiety. If even Lord Brahmā is full of anxiety, what of these ordinary living entities who are working within this planet? Bhagavad-gītā (8.16) confirms:
“From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place.” In the material world a living entity is never satisfied. Even in the position of Brahmā or in the position of Indra or Candra, one is full of anxiety simply because he has accepted this material world as a place of happiness.
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