yad-artha iha karmāṇi
vidvan-māny asakṛn naraḥ
karoty ato viparyāsam
amoghaṁ vindate phalam
yat—of which; arthe—for the purpose; iha—in this material world; karmāṇi—many activities (in factories, industries, speculation and so on); vidvat—advanced in knowledge; mānī—thinking himself to be; asakṛt—again and again; naraḥ—a person; karoti—performs; ataḥ—from this; viparyāsam—the opposite; amogham—unfailingly; vindate—achieves; phalam—result.
A materialistic person, thinking himself very advanced in intelligence, continually acts for economic development. But again and again, as enunciated in the Vedas, he is frustrated by material activities, either in this life or in the next. Indeed, the results one obtains are inevitably the opposite of those one desires.
No one has ever achieved the results he desired from material activities. On the contrary, everyone has been frustrated again and again. Therefore one must not waste his time in such material activities for sensual pleasure, either in this life or in the next. So many nationalists, economists and other ambitious persons have tried for happiness, individually or collectively, but history proves that they have all been frustrated. In recent history we have seen many political leaders work hard for individual and collective economic development, but they have all failed. This is the law of nature, as clearly explained in the next verse.
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