न भजन्त्यवजानन्ति स्थानाद् भ्रष्टा: पतन्त्यध: ॥ ३ ॥
na bhajanty avajānanti
sthānād bhraṣṭāḥ patanty adhaḥ
yaḥ — one who; eṣām — of them; puruṣaṁ — the Supreme Lord; sākṣāt — directly; ātma-prabhavam — the source of their own creation; īśvaram — the supreme controller; na — do not; bhajanti — worship; avajānanti — disrespect; sthānāt — from their position; bhraṣṭāḥ — fallen; patanti — they fall; adhaḥ — down.
If any of the members of the four varṇas and four āśramas fail to worship or intentionally disrespect the Personality of Godhead, who is the source of their own creation, they will fall down from their position into a hellish state of life.
The words na bhajanti in this verse refer to those who out of ignorance do not worship the Supreme Lord, whereas the word avajānanti refers to those who have actually been informed of the supreme position of the Lord but still show Him disrespect. It has already been described that the four spiritual and occupational orders of life are generated from the body of the Lord. In fact, the Supreme Lord is the source of everything, as described in Bhagavad-gītā (10.8): ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ. Those who foolishly do not inquire into the position of the Personality of Godhead, as well as those who disrespect the Lord in spite of having heard of His transcendental position, will certainly fall down from the varṇāśrama-dharma system, as described by the words sthānād bhraṣṭāḥ. The words patanty adhaḥ indicate that one who falls from the varṇāśrama system will have no means of avoiding sinful activities; nor will such a person receive any credit for performing sacrifice, and thus he will gradually sink down into lower and lower species of life in hellish conditions. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has pointed out that the original cause of offending the Lord and falling down from one’s position is one’s not learning how to properly worship a bona fide spiritual master. One who is trained to offer respectful obeisances and worship to the bona fide spiritual master automatically offers proper worship to the Supreme Lord. Without the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master, even a so-called religious man will gradually become atheistic, offend the Lord by foolish speculation and fall into a hellish condition of life. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura has pointed out that the puruṣa mentioned in this verse is Lord Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is glorified in the Puruṣa-sūkta prayers. If one is proud of his high social position and enviously thinks that the Lord is also a creation of nature and that there is no absolute entity who is the origin of all beings, then such a puffed-up fool will certainly fall down from the varṇāśrama system and become just like an unregulated animal.