sa ekada himavato
daksinesv atha sanusu
dadarsa navabhir dvarbhih
sah—that King Puranjana; ekada—once upon a time; himavatah—of the Himalaya Mountains; daksinesu—southern; atha—after this; sanusu—on the ridges; dadarsa—found; navabhih—with nine; dvarbhih—gates; puram—a city; laksita—visible; laksanam—having all auspicious facilities.
Once, while wandering in this way, he saw on the southern side of the Himalayas, in a place named Bharata-varsa [India], a city that had nine gates all about and was characterized by all auspicious facilities.
The tract of land south of the Himalaya Mountains is the land of India, which was known as Bharata-varsa. When a living entity takes birth in Bharata-varsa he is considered to be most fortunate. Indeed, Caitanya Mahaprabhu has stated:
(Cc. Adi 9.41)
Thus whoever takes birth in the land of Bharata-varsa attains all the facilities of life. He may take advantage of all these facilities for both material and spiritual advancement and thus make his life successful. After attaining the goal of life, one may distribute his knowledge and experience all over the world for humanitarian purposes. In other words, one who takes birth in the land of Bharata-varsa by virtue of his past pious activities gets full facility to develop the human form of life. In India, the climatic condition is such that one can live very peacefully without being disturbed by material conditions. Indeed, during the time of Maharaja Yudhisthira or Lord Ramacandra, people were free from all anxieties. There was not even extreme cold or extreme heat. The three kinds of miserable conditions—adhyatmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika (miseries inflicted by the body and mind itself, those inflicted by other living entities, and natural disturbances)—were all absent during the reign of Lord Ramacandra or Maharaja Yudhisthira. But at present, compared to other countries on earth, India is artificially disturbed. Despite these material disturbances, however, the country’s culture is such that one can easily attain the goal of life—namely salvation, or liberation from material bondage. Thus in order to take birth in India one must have performed many pious activities in a past life.
In this verse the word laksita-laksanam indicates that the human body attained in Bharata-varsa is very auspicious. Vedic culture is full of knowledge, and a person born in India can fully take advantage of Vedic cultural knowledge and the cultural system known as varnasrama-dharma. Even at the present time, as we travel all over the world, we see that in some countries human beings have many material facilities but no facilities for spiritual advancement. We find everywhere the defects of one-sided facilities and a lack of full facilities. A blind man can walk but not see, and a lame man cannot walk but can see. Andha-pangu-nyaya. The blind man may take the lame man over his shoulder, and as he walks the lame man may give him directions. Thus combined they may work, but individually neither the blind man nor the lame man can walk successfully. Similarly, this human form of life is meant for the advancement of spiritual life and for keeping the material necessities in order. Especially in the Western countries there are ample facilities for material comforts, but no one has any idea of spiritual advancement. Many are hankering after spiritual advancement, but many cheaters come, take advantage of their money, bluff them and go away. Fortunately the Krsna consciousness movement is there to give all facilities for both material and spiritual advancement. In this way people in the Western countries may take advantage of this movement. In India any man in the villages, unaffected by the industrial cities of India, can still live in any condition and make spiritual advancement. The body has been called the city of nine gates, and these nine gates include two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, a genital and a rectum. When the nine gates are clean and working properly, it is to be understood that the body is healthy. In India these nine gates are kept clean by the villagers who rise early in the morning, bathe in the well or rivers, go to the temples to attend mangala-arati, chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and take prasada. In this way one can take advantage of all the facilities of human life. We are gradually introducing this system in different centers in our Society in the Western countries. One who takes advantage of it becomes more and more enlightened in spiritual life. At the present moment, India may be compared to the lame man and the Western countries to the blind man. For the past two thousand years India has been subjugated by the rule of foreigners, and the legs of progress have been broken. In the Western countries the eyes of the people have become blind due to the dazzling glitter of material opulence. The blind man of the Western countries and the lame man of India should combine together in this Krsna consciousness movement. Then the lame man of India can walk with the help of the Westerner, and the blind Westerner can see with the help of the lame man. In short, the material advancement of the Western countries and the spiritual assets of India should combine for the elevation of all human society.
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