kiṁ bārhaspatyeha paratra vātha
āsādya devaṁ giriśaṁ yadṛcchayā
prāpuḥ paraṁ nūnam atha pracetasaḥ
kim—what; bārhaspatya—O disciple of Bṛhaspati; iha—here; paratra—in different planets; vā—or; atha—as such; kaivalya-nātha—to the bestower of liberation; priya—dear; pārśva-vartinaḥ—being associated with; āsādya—after meeting; devam—the great demigod; giri-śam—the lord of the Kailāsa Hill; yadṛcchayā—by providence; prāpuḥ—achieved; param—the Supreme; nūnam—certainly; atha—therefore; pracetasaḥ—the sons of Barhiṣat.
My dear Bārhaspatya, what did the sons of King Barhiṣat, known as the Pracetās, obtain after meeting Lord Śiva, who is very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the bestower of liberation? Certainly they were transferred to the spiritual world, but apart from that, what did they obtain within this material world, either in this life or in other lives?
All types of material happiness are obtained in this life or in the next life, on this planet or on another. The living entity wanders within this material universe in so many species of life and so many planetary systems. The distress and happiness obtained during the span of life are called iha, and the distress and happiness obtained in the next life are called paratra.
Actually, Lord Mahādeva (Śiva) is one of the great demigods within this material world. Generally his blessings bestowed on ordinary people mean material happiness. The predominating deity of this material world, Durgā, is under the control of Lord Mahādeva, Giriśa. Thus Lord Mahādeva can offer anyone any kind of material happiness. Generally people prefer to become devotees of Lord Giriśa to obtain material happiness, but the Pracetās met Lord Mahādeva by providential arrangement. Lord Mahādeva instructed them to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he personally offered a prayer. As stated in the previous verse (rudra-gītena), simply by chanting the prayers offered by Lord Śiva to Viṣṇu, the Pracetās were transferred to the spiritual world. Sometimes devotees desire to enjoy material happiness also; therefore, by the arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the devotee is given a chance to enjoy the material world before his final entrance into the spiritual world. Sometimes a devotee is transferred to a heavenly planet—to Janaloka, Maharloka, Tapoloka, Siddhaloka and so on. However, a pure devotee never aspires for any kind of material happiness. The pure devotee is consequently transferred directly to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, which is described here as param. In this verse Vidura asks Maitreya, the disciple of Bṛhaspati, about the different achievements of the Pracetās.
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