atha tan slaksnaya vaca
pratyahuya maha-budhah
uvaca vidvams tan-nistham
krpaya prahasann iva
atha—then; tan—the class friends; slaksnaya—with very pleasing; vaca—speech; pratyahuya—addressing; maha-budhahPrahlada Maharaja, who was highly learned and advanced in spiritual consciousness (maha means “great,” and budha means “learned”); uvaca—said; vidvan—very learned; tat-nistham—the path of God realization; krpaya—being merciful; prahasan—smiling; iva—like.
Prahlada Maharaja, who was truly the supreme learned person, then addressed his class friends in very sweet language. Smiling, he began to teach them about the uselessness of the materialistic way of life. Being very kind to them, he instructed them as follows.
Prahlada Maharaja’s smiling is very significant. The other students were very much advanced in enjoying materialistic life through religion, economic development and sense gratification, but Prahlada Maharaja laughed at them, knowing that this was not actual happiness, for real happiness is advancement in Krsna consciousness. The duty of those who follow in the footsteps of Prahlada Maharaja is to teach the entire world how to be Krsna conscious and thus be really happy. Materialistic persons take to so-called religion to get some blessings so that they can improve their economic position and enjoy the material world through sense gratification. But devotees like Prahlada Maharaja laugh at how foolish they are to be busy in a temporary life without knowledge of the soul’s transmigration from one body to another. Materialistic persons are engaged in striving for temporary benefits, whereas persons advanced in spiritual knowledge, such as Prahlada Maharaja, are not interested in the materialistic way of life. Instead, they want to be elevated to an eternal life of knowledge and bliss. Therefore, as Krsna is always compassionate to the fallen souls, His servants, the devotees of Lord Krsna, are also interested in educating the entire populace in Krsna consciousness. The mistake of materialistic life is understood by devotees, and therefore they smile upon it, considering it insignificant. Out of compassion, however, such devotees preach the gospel of Bhagavad-gita all over the world.

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