TEXT 20
evam aisvarya-mattasya
drptasyocchastra-vartinah
kalo mahan vyatiyaya
brahma-sapam upeyusah
SYNONYMS
evam—thus; aisvarya-mattasya—of one who was intoxicated by opulences; drptasya—greatly proud; ut-sastra-vartinah—transgressing the regulative principles mentioned in the sastras; kalah—duration of time; mahan—a great; vyatiyaya—passed; brahma-sapam—a curse by exalted brahmanas; upeyusah—having obtained.
TRANSLATION
Hiranyakasipu thus passed a long time being very much proud of his opulences and transgressing the laws and regulations mentioned in the authoritative sastras. He was therefore subjected to a curse by the four Kumaras, who were great brahmanas.
PURPORT
There have been many instances in which demons, after achieving material opulences, have become extremely proud, so much so that they have transgressed the laws and regulations given in the authoritative sastras. Hiranyakasipu acted in this way. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (16.23):
“He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.” The word sastra refers to that which controls our activities. We cannot violate or transgress the laws and regulative principles mentioned in the sastras. Bhagavad-gita repeatedly confirms this.
tasmac chastram pramanam te
karyakarya-vyavasthitau
jnatva sastra-vidhanoktam
karma kartum iharhasi
“One should understand what is duty and what is not duty by the regulations of the scriptures. Knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that he may gradually be elevated.” (Bg. 16.24) One should act according to the direction of the sastra, but the material energy is so powerful that as soon as one becomes materially opulent, he begins to transgress the sastric laws. As soon as one transgresses the laws of sastra, he immediately enters upon the path of destruction.

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