TEXT 20
guna-pravaha etasmin
kah sapah ko nv anugrahah
kah svargo narakah ko va
kim sukham duhkham eva va
SYNONYMS
guna-pravahe—in the current of the modes of material nature; etasmin—this; kah—what; sapah—a curse; kah—what; nu—indeed; anugrahah—a favor; kah—what; svargah—elevation to heavenly planets; narakah—hell; kah—what; va—or; kim—what; sukham—happiness; duhkham—distress; eva—indeed; va—or.
TRANSLATION
This material world resembles the waves of a constantly flowing river. Therefore, what is a curse and what is a favor? What are the heavenly planets, and what are the hellish planets? What is actually happiness, and what is actually distress? Because the waves flow constantly, none of them has an eternal effect.
PURPORT
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings, (miche) mayara vase, yaccha bhese’, khaccha habudubu, bhai: “My dear living entities within this material world, why are you being carried away by the waves of the modes of material nature?” (Jiva) krsna-dasa, ei visvasa, karle ta’ ara duhkha nai: “If the living entity tries to understand that he is an eternal servant of Krsna, there will no longer be misery for him.” Krsna wants us to give up all other engagements and surrender unto Him. If we do so, where will the cause and effect of this material world be? There is nothing like cause and effect for the surrendered soul. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says in this regard that being put into this material world is like being thrown into a mine of salt. If one falls into a mine of salt, he tastes only salt wherever he goes. Similarly, this material world is full of miseries. The so-called temporary happiness of the world is also misery, but in ignorance we cannot understand this. That is the actual position. When one comes to his senses—when he becomes Krsna conscious—he is no longer concerned with the various conditions of this material world. He is not concerned with happiness or distress, curses or favors, or heavenly or hellish planets. He sees no distinction between them.

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