brahman yam anugrhnami
tad-viso vidhunomy aham
yan-madah purusah stabdho
lokam mam cavamanyate
sri-bhagavan uvaca—the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; brahman—O Lord Brahma; yam—unto anyone to whom; anugrhnami—I show My mercy; tat—his; visah—material opulence or riches; vidhunomi—take away; aham—I; yat-madah—having false prestige due to this money; purusah—such a person; stabdhah—being dull-minded; lokam—the three worlds; mam ca—unto Me also; avamanyate—derides.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Lord Brahma, because of material opulence a foolish person becomes dull-witted and mad. Thus he has no respect for anyone within the three worlds and defies even My authority. To such a person I show special favor by first taking away all his possessions.
A civilization that has become godless because of material advancement in opulence is extremely dangerous. Because of great opulence, a materialist becomes so proud that he has no regard for anyone and even refuses to accept the authority of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The result of such a mentality is certainly very dangerous. To show special favor, the Lord sometimes makes an example of someone like Bali Maharaja, who was now bereft of all his possessions.
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