TEXT 42
athaitat purnam abhyatmam
yac ca nety anrtam vacah
sarvam nety anrtam bruyat
sa duskirtih svasan mrtah
SYNONYMS
atha—therefore; etat—that; purnam—completely; abhyatmam—drawing the compassion of others by presenting oneself as always poverty-stricken; yat—that; ca—also; na—not; iti—thus; anrtam—false; vacah—words; sarvam—completely; na—not; iti—thus; anrtam—falsity; bruyat—who should say; sah—such a person; duskirtih—infamous; svasan—while breathing or while alive; mrtah—is dead or should be killed.
TRANSLATION
Therefore, the safe course is to say no. Although it is a falsehood, it protects one completely, it draws the compassion of others toward oneself, and it gives one full facility to collect money from others for oneself. Nonetheless, if one always pleads that he has nothing, he is condemned, for he is a dead body while living, or while still breathing he should be killed.
PURPORT
Beggars always present themselves as possessing nothing, and this may be very good for them because in this way they are assured of not losing their money and of always drawing the attention and compassion of others for the sake of collection. But this is also condemned. If one purposely continues this professional begging, he is supposed to be dead while breathing, or, according to another interpretation, such a man of falsity should be killed while still breathing. The Vedic injunction in this regard is as follows: athaitat purnam abhyatmam yan neti sa yat sarvam neti bruyat papikasya kirtir jayate. sainam tatraiva hanyat. If one continuously poses himself as possessing nothing and collects money by begging, he should be killed (sainam tatraiva hanyat).

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