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SB 11.10.27-29

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Please note: The synonyms, translation and purport of this verse were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda

TEXTS 27-29

yady adharma-rataḥ saṅgād
asatāṁ vājitendriyaḥ
kāmātmā kṛpaṇo lubdhaḥ
straiṇo bhūta-vihiṁsakaḥ
paśūn avidhinālabhya
preta-bhūta-gaṇān yajan
narakān avaśo jantur
gatvā yāty ulbaṇaṁ tamaḥ
karmāṇi duḥkhodarkāṇi
kurvan dehena taiḥ punaḥ
deham ābhajate tatra
kiṁ sukhaṁ martya-dharmiṇaḥ


yadi—if; adharma—in irreligion; rataḥ—he is engaged; saṅgāt—due to association; asatām—of materialistic people; vā—or; ajita—due to not conquering; indriyaḥ—the senses; kāma—material lusty desires; ātmā—living for; kṛpaṇaḥ—miserly; lubdhaḥ—greedy; straiṇaḥ—a woman-hunter; bhūta—against other living beings; vihiṁsakaḥ—committing violence; paśūn—animals; avidhinā—without the authority of Vedic injunctions; ālabhya—killing; preta-bhūta—ghosts and spirits; gaṇān—the groups of; yajan—worshiping; narakān—to hells; avaśaḥ—helplessly, being under the control of fruitive activities; jantuḥ—a living being; gatvā—having gone; yāti—approaches; ulbaṇam—extreme; tamaḥ—darkness; karmāṇi—activities; duḥkha—great unhappiness; udarkāṇi—bringing in the future; kurvan—performing; dehena—with such a body; taiḥ—by such activities; punaḥ—again; deham—a material body; ābhajate—accepts; tatra—therein; kim—what; sukham—happiness; martya—always leading to death; dharmiṇaḥ—of one sworn to activities.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


If a human being is engaged in sinful, irreligious activities, either because of bad association or because of his failure to control his senses, then such a person will certainly develop a personality full of material desires. He thus becomes miserly toward others, greedy and always anxious to exploit the bodies of women. When the mind is so polluted one becomes violent and aggressive and without the authority of Vedic injunctions slaughters innocent animals for sense gratification. Worshiping ghosts and spirits, the bewildered person falls fully into the grip of unauthorized activities and thus goes to hell, where he receives a material body infected by the darkest modes of nature. In such a degraded body, he unfortunately continues to perform inauspicious activities that greatly increase his future unhappiness, and therefore he again accepts a similar material body. What possible happiness can there be for one who engages in activities inevitably terminating in death?


In the Vedic analysis of civilized life there are two paths. One who takes to the path of nivṛtti-mārga immediately renounces material sense gratification and purifies his existence by performance of austerity and devotional activities. On the path of pravṛtti-mārga one furnishes a steady supply of sense objects to the senses, but one consumes such sense objects under strict regulations and through ritualistic ceremonies, thus gradually purifying the heart and satiating the material senses. Unfortunately, as explained in this and the previous verse, the path of pravṛtti-mārga is extremely volatile because rather than becoming detached, the living entity often becomes uncontrolled and fully addicted to further sense gratification. In the previous verse the path of regulated, authorized sense gratification was described, and in this verse the path of unauthorized, demoniac sense gratification is described.

In this verse, the words saṅgād asatāṁ vājitendriyaḥ are very significant. One may fall down into sinful life by bad association, or even in good association one may fail to control his senses. Ultimately each living entity is responsible for his existential situation. The word adharma-rataḥ in this verse indicates those engaged in excessive sex life, meat-eating, drinking and other inauspicious activities that transgress the codes of civilized human life. Being in the mode of ignorance, these persons develop such a cruel mentality that they do not consider any festive occasion complete without the consumption of large quantities of meat obtained by slaughtering helpless animals. Eventually such persons become influenced by ghosts and spirits, who deprive them of all ability to discriminate between right and wrong. Losing all sense of decency, they become fit candidates for entrance into the darkest modes of material existence. Sometimes these lusty, intoxicated carnivores, considering themselves pious, pray to God in a useless way. Afflicted by innumerable material desires, they rotate from one material body to another without experiencing true happiness. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura has noted that material life is so disturbing that even if one is allowed to live for an entire day of Brahmā—approximately 8,640,000,000 years—one will eventually be afflicted by the fear of death. In fact, Brahmā himself is disturbed by fear of death, what to speak of tiny human beings who live a paltry seventy or eighty years at most. Thus, as stated here, kiṁ sukhaṁ martya-dharmiṇaḥ: what possible happiness can one find within the painful grip of material illusion?

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