adhunā putriṇāṁ tāpo
evaṁ dārā gṛhā rāyo
śabdādayaś ca viṣayāś
mahī rājyaṁ balaṁ koṣo
sarve ’pi śūraseneme
adhunā—at the present moment; putriṇām—of persons who have children; tāpaḥ—the tribulation; bhavatā—by you; eva—indeed; anubhūyate—is experienced; evam—in this way; dārāḥ—good wife; gṛhāḥ—residence; rāyaḥ—riches; vividha—various; aiśvarya—opulences; sampadaḥ—prosperities; śabda-ādayaḥ—sound and so on; ca—and; viṣayāḥ—the objects of sense gratification; calāḥ—temporary; rājya—of the kingdom; vibhūtayaḥ—opulences; mahī—land; rājyam—kingdom; balam—strength; koṣaḥ—treasury; bhṛtya—servants; amātya—ministers; suhṛt-janāḥ—allies; sarve—all; api—indeed; śūrasena—O King of Śūrasena; ime—these; śoka—of lamentation; moha—of illusion; bhaya—of fear; arti—and distress; dāḥ—givers; gandharva-nagara-prakhyāḥ—headed by the illusory sight of a gandharva-nagara, a big palace within the forest; svapna—dreams; māyā—illusions; manorathāḥ—and concoctions of the mind.
My dear King, now you are actually experiencing the misery of a person who has sons and daughters. O King, owner of the state of Śūrasena, one’s wife, his house, the opulence of his kingdom, and his various other opulences and objects of sense perception are all the same in that they are temporary. One’s kingdom, military power, treasury, servants, ministers, friends and relatives are all causes of fear, illusion, lamentation and distress. They are like a gandharva-nagara, a nonexistent palace that one imagines to exist in the forest. Because they are impermanent, they are no better than illusions, dreams and mental concoctions.
This verse describes the entanglement of material existence. In material existence, the living entity possesses many things—the material body, children, wife and so on (dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu). One may think that these will give him protection, but that is impossible. In spite of all these possessions, the spirit soul has to give up his present situation and accept another. The next situation may be unfavorable, but even if it is favorable, one must give it up and again accept another body. In this way, one’s tribulation in material existence continues. A sane man should he perfectly aware that these things will never be able to give him happiness. One must be situated in his spiritual identity and eternally serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead as a devotee. Aṅgirā Ṛṣi and Nārada Muni gave this instruction to Mahārāja Citraketu.
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