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SB 4.20.30

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


manye giraṁ te jagatāṁ vimohinīṁ
varaṁ vṛṇīṣveti bhajantam āttha yat
vācā nu tantyā yadi te jano 'sitaḥ
kathaṁ punaḥ karma karoti mohitaḥ


manye—I consider; giram—words; te—Your; jagatām—to the material world; vimohinīm—bewildering; varam—benediction; vṛṇīṣva—just accept; iti—in this way; bhajantam—unto Your devotee; āttha—You spoke; yat—because; vācā—by the statements of the Vedas; nu—certainly; tantyā—by the ropes; yadi—if; te—Your; janaḥ—the people in general; asitaḥ—not bound; katham—how; punaḥ—again and again; karma—fruitive activities; karoti—perform; mohitaḥ—being enamored.


My dear Lord, what You have said to Your unalloyed devotee is certainly very much bewildering. The allurements You offer in the Vedas are certainly not suitable for pure devotees. People in general, bound by the sweet words of the Vedas, engage themselves again and again in fruitive activities, enamored by the results of their actions.


Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, a great ācārya of the Gauḍīya-sampradāya, has said that persons who are very much attached to the fruitive activities of the Vedas, namely karma-kāṇḍa and jñāna-kanda, are certainly doomed. In the Vedas there are three categories of activities, known as karma-kāṇḍa (fruitive activities), jñāna-kāṇḍa (philosophical research) and upāsanā-kāṇḍa (worship of different demigods for receiving material benefits). Those who are engaged in karma-kāṇḍa and jñāna-kāṇḍa are doomed in the sense that everyone is doomed who is entrapped by this material body, whether it is a body of a demigod, a king, a lower animal or whatever. The sufferings of the threefold miseries of material nature are the same for all. Cultivation of knowledge to understand one's spiritual position is also, to a certain extent, a waste of time. Because the living entity is an eternal part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, his immediate business is to engage himself in devotional service. Pṛthu Mahārāja therefore says that the allurement of material benedictions is another trap to entangle one in this material world. He therefore frankly tells the Lord that the Lord's offerings of benedictions in the form of material facilities are certainly causes for bewilderment. A pure devotee is not at all interested in bhukti or mukti.

The Lord sometimes offers benedictions to the neophyte devotees who have not yet understood that material facilities will not make them happy. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta the Lord therefore says that a sincere devotee who is not very intelligent may ask some material benefit from the Lord, but the Lord, being omniscient, does not generally give material rewards but, on the contrary, takes away whatever material facilities are being enjoyed by His devotee, so that ultimately the devotee will completely surrender unto Him. In other words, the offering of benedictions in the form of material profit is never auspicious for the devotee. The statements of the Vedas which offer elevation to heavenly planets in exchange for great sacrifices are simply bewildering. Therefore in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 2.42) the Lord says: yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ pravadanty avipaścitaḥ. The less intelligent class of men (avipaścitaḥ), attracted by the flowery language of the Vedas, engage in fruitive activities to become materially benefited. Thus they continue life after life, in different bodily forms, to search very, very hard.

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