TEXT 37
aho asadhv anusthitam yad abhinivesito ’ham indriyair avidya-racita-visama-visayandha-kupe tad alam alam amusya vanitaya vinoda-mrgam mam dhig dhig iti garhayam cakara.
SYNONYMS
aho—alas; asadhu—not good; anusthitam—executed; yat—because; abhinivesitah—being completely absorbed; aham—I; indriyaih—for sense gratification; avidya—by nescience; racita—made; visama—causing distress; visaya—sense gratification; andha-kupe—in the dark well; tat—that; alam—insignificant; alam—of no importance; amusyah—of that; vanitayah—wife; vinoda-mrgam—just like a dancing monkey; mam—unto me; dhik—all condemnation; dhik—all condemnation; iti—thus; garhayam—criticism; cakara—he did.
TRANSLATION
The King thus began criticizing himself: Alas, how condemned I have become because of my sense gratification! I have now fallen into material enjoyment, which is exactly like a covered well. I have had enough! I am not going to enjoy any more. Just see how I have become like a dancing monkey in the hands of my wife. Because of this, I am condemned.
PURPORT
How condemned is the advancement of material knowledge can be understood from the behavior of Maharaja Priyavrata. He performed such wonderful acts as creating another sun, which shined during the night, and creating a chariot so great that its wheels formed vast oceans. These activities are so great that modern scientists cannot even imagine how such things can be done. Maharaja Priyavrata acted very wonderfully in the material field of activities, but because he was dealing in sense gratification—ruling his kingdom and dancing to the indications of his beautiful wife—he personally condemned himself. When we think about this example of Maharaja Priyavrata, we can just consider how degraded is the modern civilization of materialistic advancement. Modern so-called scientists and other materialists are very satisfied because they can construct great bridges, roads and machines, but such activities are nothing comparable to those of Maharaja Priyavrata. If Maharaja Priyavrata could condemn himself in spite of his wonderful activities, how condemned we are in our so-called advancement of material civilization. We can conclude that such advancement has nothing to do with the problems of the living entity entangled within this material world. Unfortunately, modern man does not understand his entanglement and how condemned he is, nor does he know what kind of body he is going to have in the next life. From a spiritual point of view, a great kingdom, beautiful wife and wonderful material activities are all impediments to spiritual advancement. Maharaja Priyavrata had served the great sage Narada sincerely. Therefore even though he had accepted material opulences, he could not be deviated from his own task. He again became Krsna conscious. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita:
nehabhikrama-naso ’sti
pratyavayo na vidyate
svalpam apy asya dharmasya
trayate mahato bhayat
“In devotional service there is no loss or diminution, and even a small service rendered in devotional life is sufficient to save one from the greatest danger.” (Bg. 2.40) Such renunciation as Maharaja Priyavrata’s is possible only by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Generally when people are powerful or when they have a beautiful wife, a beautiful home and material popularity, they become more and more entangled. Priyavrata Maharaja, however, having been completely trained by the great sage Narada, revived his Krsna consciousness in spite of all impediments.

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