TEXT 12
sa yada dugdha-purva-sukrtas tada karaskara-kakatundady-apunya-druma-lata-visoda-panavad ubhayartha-sunya-dravinan jivan-mrtan svayam jivan-mriyamana upadhavati.
SYNONYMS
sah—that conditioned soul; yada—when; dugdha—exhausted; purva—previous; sukrtah—pious activities; tada—at that time; karaskara-kakatunda-adi—named karaskara, kakatunda, etc.; apunya-druma-lata—impious trees and creepers; visa-uda-pana-vat—like wells with poisonous water; ubhaya-artha-sunya—which cannot give happiness either in this life or in the next; dravinan—those who possess wealth; jivat-mrtan—who are dead, although apparently alive; svayam—he himself; jivat—living; mriyamanah—being dead; upadhavati—approaches for material acquisition.
TRANSLATION
Due to his pious activities in previous lives, the conditioned soul attains material facilities in this life, but when they are finished, he takes shelter of wealth and riches, which cannot help him in this life or the next. Because of this, he approaches the living dead who possess these things. Such people are compared to impure trees, creepers and poisonous wells.
PURPORT
The wealth and riches acquired through previous pious activities should not be misused for sense gratification. Enjoying them for sense gratification is like enjoying the fruits of a poisonous tree. Such activities will not help the conditioned soul in any way, neither in this life nor the next. However, if one engages his possessions in the service of the Lord under the guidance of a proper spiritual master. he will attain happiness both in this life and the next. Unless he does so, he eats a forbidden apple and thereby loses his paradise. Lord Sri Krsna therefore advises that one’s possessions should be given unto Him.
“O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” (Bg. 9.27) Material wealth and opulence attained through previous pious activities can be fully utilized for one’s benefit in this life and the next if one is Krsna conscious. One should not try to possess more than he needs for the bare necessities. If one gets more than is needed, the surplus should be fully engaged in the Lord’s service. That will make the conditioned soul, the world and Krsna happy, and this is the aim of life.

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