maharsa etad vaicitryam lokasya katham iti.
raja uvaca—the King said; maharse—O great saint (Sukadeva Gosvami); etat—this; vaicitryam—variegatedness; lokasya—of the living entities; katham—how; iti—thus.
King Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami: My dear sir, why are the living entities put into different material situations? Kindly explain this to me.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that the different hellish planets within this universe are held slightly above the Garbhodaka Ocean and remain situated there. This chapter describes how all sinful persons go to these hellish planets and how they are punished there by the assistants of Yamaraja. Different individuals with different bodily features enjoy or suffer various reactions according to their past deeds.
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