visṛjya rājyaṁ tapase
sabhāryo vanam āviśat
viraktaḥ—without attachment; kāma-bhogeṣu—in sense gratification (in gṛhastha life); śatarūpā-patiḥ—the husband of Śatarūpā, namely Svāyambhuva Manu; prabhuḥ—who was the master or king of the world; visṛjya—after renouncing totally; rājyam—his kingdom; tapase—for practicing austerities; sa-bhāryaḥ—with his wife; vanam—the forest; āviśat—entered.
Svāyambhuva Manu, the husband of Śatarūpā, was by nature not at all attached to enjoyment of the senses. Thus he gave up his kingdom of sense enjoyment and entered the forest with his wife to practice austerities.
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (4.2), evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ: “The supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way.” All the Manus were perfect kings. They were rājarṣis. In other words, although they held posts as kings of the world, they were as good as great saints. Svāyambhuva Manu, for example, was the emperor of the world, yet he had no desire for sense gratification. This is the meaning of monarchy. The king of the country or the emperor of the empire must be so trained that by nature he renounces sense gratification. It is not that because one becomes king he should unnecessarily spend money for sense gratification. As soon as kings became degraded, spending money for sense gratification, they were lost. Similarly, at the present moment, monarchy having been lost, the people have created democracy, which is also failing. Now, by the laws of nature, the time is coming when dictatorship will put the citizens into more and more difficulty. If the king or dictator individually, or the members of the government collectively, cannot maintain the state or kingdom according to the rules of Manu-saṁhitā, certainly their government will not endure.
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