सम्भोजनीयापदेशैर्जलानीव जलौकस: ॥ २२ ॥
haranty anye ’lpa-medhasaḥ
In the guise of dear dependents, strangers steal the sinfully acquired wealth of a foolish man, just as the offspring of a fish drink up the water that sustains the fish.
Ordinary people feel they cannot live without their wealth, although their possession of it is circumstantial and temporary. Just as wealth gives life to an ordinary man, water gives life to a fish. One’s dear dependents, however, steal one’s wealth, just as a fish’s offspring drink up the water sustaining the fish. In the words of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, this world is “a weird abode.”