TEXT 21
paṇḍitā bahavo rājan
bahu-jñāḥ saṁśaya-cchidaḥ
sadasas patayo ’py eke
asantoṣāt patanty adhaḥ
SYNONYMS
paṇḍitāḥ—very learned scholars; bahavaḥ—many; rājan—O King (Yudhiṣṭhira); bahu-jñāḥ—persons with varied experience; saṁśaya-cchidaḥ—expert in legal advice; sadasaḥ patayaḥ—persons eligible to become presidents of learned assemblies; api—even; eke—by one disqualification; asantoṣāt—simply by dissatisfaction or greed; patanti—fall down; adhaḥ—into hellish conditions of life.
TRANSLATION
O King Yudhiṣṭhira, many persons with varied experience, many legal advisers, many learned scholars and many persons eligible to become presidents of learned assemblies fall down into hellish life because of not being satisfied with their positions.
PURPORT
For spiritual advancement, one should be materially satisfied, for if one is not materially satisfied, his greed for material development will result in the frustration of his spiritual advancement. There are two things that nullify all good qualities. One is poverty. Daridra-doṣo guṇa-rāśi-nāśī. If one is poverty-stricken, all his good qualities become null and void. Similarly, if one becomes too greedy, his good qualifications are lost. Therefore the adjustment is that one should not be poverty-stricken, but one must try to be fully satisfied with the bare necessities of life and not be greedy. For a devotee to be satisfied with the bare necessities is therefore the best advice for spiritual advancement. Learned authorities in devotional life consequently advise that one not endeavor to increase the number of temples and maṭhas. Such activities can be undertaken only by devotees experienced in propagating the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. All the ācāryas in South India, especially Śrī Rāmānujācārya, constructed many big temples, and in North India all the Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana constructed large temples. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura also constructed large centers, known as Gauḍīya Maṭhas. Therefore temple construction is not bad, provided proper care is taken for the propagation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Even if such endeavors are considered greedy, the greed is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, and therefore these are spiritual activities.

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