TEXTS 16–17
śruto bhagīrathāj jajñe
tasya nābho ’paro ’bhavat
sindhudvīpas tatas tasmād
ayutāyus tato ’bhavat
ṛtūparṇo nala-sakho
yo ’śva-vidyām ayān nalāt
dattvākṣa-hṛdayaṁ cāsmai
sarvakāmas tu tat-sutam
SYNONYMS
śrutaḥ—a son named Śruta; bhagīrathāt—from Bhagīratha; jajñe—was born; tasya—of Śruta; nābhaḥ—by the name Nābha; aparaḥ—different from the Nābha previously described; abhavat—was born; sindhudvīpaḥ—by the name Sindhudvīpa; tataḥ—from Nābha; tasmāt—from Sindhudvīpa; ayutāyuḥ—a son named Ayutāyu; tataḥ—thereafter; abhavat—was born; ṛtūparṇaḥ—a son named Ṛtūparṇa; nala-sakhaḥ—who was a friend of Nala; yaḥ—one who; aśva-vidyām—the art of controlling horses; ayāt—achieved; nalāt—from Nala; dattvā—after giving in exchange; akṣa-hṛdayam—the secrets of the art of gambling; ca—and; asmai—unto Nala; sarvakāmaḥ—by the name Sarvakāma; tu—indeed; tat-sutam—his son (the son of Ṛtūparṇa).
TRANSLATION
Bhagīratha had a son named Śruta, whose son was Nābha. This son was different from the Nābha previously described. Nābha had a son named Sindhudvīpa, from Sindhudvīpa came Ayutāyu, and from Ayutāyu came Ṛtūparṇa, who became a friend of Nalarāja. Ṛtūparṇa taught Nalarāja the art of gambling, and Nalarāja gave Ṛtūparṇa lessons in controlling and maintaining horses. The son of Ṛtūparṇa was Sarvakāma.
PURPORT
Gambling is also an art. Kṣatriyas are allowed to exhibit talent in this art of gambling. By the grace of Kṛṣṇa, the Pāṇḍavas lost everything by gambling and were deprived of their kingdom, wife, family and home because they were not expert in the gambling art. In other words, a devotee may not be expert in materialistic activities. It is therefore advised in the śāstra that materialistic activities are not at all suitable for the living entities, especially the devotees. A devotee should therefore be satisfied to eat whatever is sent as prasāda by the Supreme Lord. A devotee remains pure because he does not take to sinful activities such as gambling, intoxication, meat-eating and illicit sex.

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