avyayam ca sriyam labdhva
vibhavam catulam bhuvi
mene ’tidurlabham pumsam
sarvam tat svapna-samstutam
tamo visati yat puman
sri-sukah uvaca—Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; ambarisah—King Ambarisa; maha-bhagah—the greatly fortunate king; sapta-dvipavatim—consisting of seven islands; mahim—the whole world; avyayam ca—and inexhaustible; sriyam—beauty; labdhva—after achieving; vibhavam ca—and opulences; atulam—unlimited; bhuvi—in this earth; mene—he decided; ati-durlabham—which is rarely obtained; pumsam—of many persons; sarvam—everything (he had obtained); tat—that which; svapna-samstutam—as if imagined in a dream; vidvan—completely understanding; vibhava-nirvanam—the annihilation of that opulence; tamah—ignorance; visati—fallen into; yat—because of which; puman—a person.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: Maharaja Ambarisa, the most fortunate personality, achieved the rule of the entire world, consisting of seven islands, and achieved inexhaustible, unlimited opulence and prosperity on earth. Although such a position is rarely obtained, Maharaja Ambarisa did not care for it at all, for he knew very well that all such opulence is material. Like that which is imagined in a dream, such opulence will ultimately be destroyed. The King knew that any nondevotee who attains such opulence merges increasingly into material nature’s mode of darkness.
For a devotee material opulence is insignificant, whereas for a nondevotee material opulence is the cause of increasing bondage, for a devotee knows that anything material is temporary, whereas a nondevotee regards the temporary so-called happiness as everything and forgets the path of self-realization. Thus for the nondevotee material opulence is a disqualification for spiritual advancement.
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