TEXT 21
bhutanam iha samvasah
prapayam iva suvrate
daivenaikatra nitanam
unnitanam sva-karmabhih
SYNONYMS
bhutanam—of all living entities; iha—in this material world; samvasah—the living together; prapayam—in a place for drinking cold water; iva—like; su-vrate—O my gentle mother; daivena—by the superior arrangement; ekatra—in one place; nitanam—of those brought; unnitanam—of those led apart; sva-karmabhih—by their own reactions.
TRANSLATION
My dear mother, in a restaurant or place for drinking cold water, many travelers are brought together, and after drinking water they continue to their respective destinations. Similarly, living entities join together in a family, and later, as a result of their own actions, they are led apart to their destinations.
PURPORT
“The bewildered soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Bg. 3.27) All living entities act exactly according to the directions of prakrti, material nature, because in the material world we are fully under a higher control. All the living entities in this material world have come here only because they wanted to be equal to Krsna in enjoyment and have thus been sent here to be conditioned by material nature in different degrees. In the material world a so-called family is a combination of several persons in one home to fulfill the terms of their imprisonment. As criminal prisoners scatter as soon as their terms are over and they are released, all of us who have temporarily assembled as family members will continue to our respective destinations. Another example given is that family members are like straws carried together by the waves of a river. Sometimes such straws mix together in whirlpools, and later, dispersed again by the same waves, they float alone in the water.
Although Hiranyakasipu was a demon, he had Vedic knowledge and understanding. Thus the advice given to his family members—his sister-in-law, mother and nephews—was quite sound. The demons are considered highly elevated in knowledge, but because they do not use their good intelligence for the service of the Lord, they are called demons. The demigods, however, act very intelligently to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.13) as follows:
“O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve, by discharging his prescribed duties [dharma] according to caste divisions and orders of life, is to please the Lord Hari.” To become a demigod or to become godly, whatever one’s occupation, one must satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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