yadā yuddhe ’surair devā
nottiṣṭheran sma bhūriśaḥ
yadā durvāsaḥ śāpena
sendrā lokās trayo nṛpa
niḥśrīkāś cābhavaṁs tatra
neśur ijyādayaḥ kriyāḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; yadā—when; yuddhe—in the fighting; asuraiḥ—by the demons; devāḥ—the demigods; badhyamānāḥ—besieged; śita-āyudhaiḥ—by serpent weapons; gata-āsavaḥ—almost dead; nipatitāḥ—some of them having fallen; na—not; uttiṣṭheran—got up again; sma—so became; bhūriśaḥ—the majority of them; yadā—when; durvāsaḥ—of Durvāsā Muni; śāpena—with the curse; sa-indrāḥ—with Indra; lokāḥ trayaḥ—the three worlds; nṛpa—O King; niḥśrīkāḥ—without any material opulence; ca—also; abhavan—became; tatra—at that time; neśuḥ—could not be performed; ijya-ādayaḥ—sacrifices; kriyāḥ—ritualistic ceremonies.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: When the asuras, with their serpent weapons, severely attacked the demigods in a fight, many of the demigods fell and lost their lives. Indeed, they could not be revived. At that time, O King, the demigods had been cursed by Durvāsā Muni, the three worlds were poverty-stricken, and therefore ritualistic ceremonies could not be performed. The effects of this were very serious.
It is described that while Durvāsā Muni was passing on the road, he saw Indra on the back of his elephant and was pleased to offer Indra a garland from his own neck. Indra, however, being too puffed up, took the garland, and without respect for Durvāsā Muni, he placed it on the trunk of his carrier elephant. The elephant, being an animal, could not understand the value of the garland, and thus the elephant threw the garland between its legs and smashed it. Seeing this insulting behavior, Durvāsā Muni immediately cursed Indra to be poverty-stricken, bereft of all material opulence. Thus the demigods, afflicted on one side by the fighting demons and on the other by the curse of Durvāsā Muni, lost all the material opulences in the three worlds.
To be extremely opulent in materialistic advancement is sometimes very risky. The materially opulent person does not care about anyone, and thus he commits offenses to great personalities, such as devotees and great saints. This is the way of material opulence. As described by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, dhana-durmadāndha: too much wealth makes one blind. This happens even to Indra in his heavenly kingdom, and what to speak of others in this material world? When one is materially opulent, he should learn to be sober and well-behaved toward Vaiṣṇavas and saintly persons; otherwise he will fall down.
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