अप्यायुषा वा कार्त्स्न्येन ये चान्ये गुणगृध्नव: ॥ २१ ॥
apy āyuṣā vā kārtsnyena
ye cānye guṇa-gṛdhnavaḥ
na — never; vayam — we; prabhavaḥ — are able; tām — that; tvām — unto you; anukartum — do the same; gṛha-īśvari — O queen of the home; api — in spite of; āyuṣā — by duration of life; vā — or (in the next life); kārtsnyena — entire; ye — who; ca — also; anye — others; guṇa-gṛdhnavaḥ — those who are able to appreciate qualities.
O queen of the home, we are not able to act like you, nor could we repay you for what you have done, even if we worked for our entire life or even after death. To repay you is not possible, even for those who are admirers of personal qualities.
So much glorification of a woman by her husband indicates that he is henpecked or is talking lightly in joke. Kaśyapa meant that householders living with wives enjoy the heavenly blessings of sense enjoyment and at the same time have no fear of going down to hell. The man in the renounced order of life has no wife and may be driven by sex desire to seek another woman or another’s wife and thus go to hell. In other words, the so-called man of the renounced order, who has left his house and wife, goes to hell if he again desires sexual pleasure, knowingly or unknowingly. In that way the householders are on the side of safety. Therefore husbands as a class cannot repay their debt to women either in this life or in the next. Even if they engage themselves in repaying the women throughout their whole lives, it is still not possible. Not all husbands are as able to appreciate the good qualities of their wives, but even though one is able to appreciate these qualities, it is still not possible to repay the debt to the wife. Such extraordinary praises by a husband for his wife are certainly in the mode of joking.