iti tam vividhopayair
prahradam grahayam asa
iti—in this way; tam—him (Prahlada Maharaja); vividha-upayaih—by various means; bhisayan—threatening; tarjana-adibhih—by chastisement, threats, etc.; prahradam—unto Prahlada Maharaja; grahayam asa—taught; tri-vargasya—the three goals of life (the paths of religion, economic development and sense gratification); upapadanam—scripture that presents.
Sanda and Amarka, the teachers of Prahlada Maharaja, chastised and threatened their disciple in various ways and began teaching him about the paths of religion, economic development and sense gratification. This is the way they educated him.
In this verse the words prahradam grahayam asa are important. The words grahayam asa literally mean that they tried to induce Prahlada Maharaja to accept the paths of dharma, artha and kama (religion, economic development and sense gratification). People are generally preoccupied with these three concerns, without interest in the path of liberation. Hiranyakasipu, the father of Prahlada Maharaja, was simply interested in gold and sense enjoyment. The word hiranya means “gold,” and kasipu refers to soft cushions and bedding on which people enjoy sense gratification. The word prahlada, however, refers to one who is always joyful in understanding Brahman (brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]). Prahlada means prasannatma, always joyful. Prahlada was always joyful in worshiping the Lord, but in accordance with the instructions of Hiranyakasipu, the teachers were interested in teaching him about material things. Materialistic persons think that the path of religion is meant for improving their material conditions. The materialist goes to a temple to worship many varieties of demigods just to receive some benediction to improve his material life. He goes to a sadhu or so-called svami to take advantage of an easy method for achieving material opulence. In the name of religion, the so-called sadhus try to satisfy the senses of the materialists by showing them shortcuts to material opulence. Sometimes they give some talisman or blessing. Sometimes they attract materialistic persons by producing gold. Then they declare themselves God, and foolish materialists are attracted to them for economic development. As a result of this process of cheating, others are reluctant to accept a religious process, and instead they advise people in general to work for material advancement. This is going on all over the world. Not only now but since time immemorial, no one is interested in moksa, liberation. There are four principles—dharma (religion), artha (economic development), kama (sense gratification) and moksa (liberation). People accept religion to become materially opulent. And why should one be materially opulent? For sense gratification. Thus people prefer these three margas, the three paths of materialistic life. No one is interested in liberation, and bhagavad-bhakti, devotional service to the Lord, is above even liberation. Therefore the process of devotional service, Krsna consciousness, is extremely difficult to understand. This will be explained later by Prahlada Maharaja. The teachers Sanda and Amarka tried to induce Prahlada Maharaja to accept the materialistic way of life, but actually their attempt was a failure.
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