च्छृण्वन्ति येऽन्यविषया: कुकथा मतिघ्नी: ।
यास्तु श्रुता हतभगैर्नृभिरात्तसारा-
स्तांस्तान् क्षिपन्त्यशरणेषु तम:सु हन्त ॥ २३ ॥
chṛṇvanti ye ’nya-viṣayāḥ kukathā mati-ghnīḥ
yās tu śrutā hata-bhagair nṛbhir ātta-sārās
tāṁs tān kṣipanty aśaraṇeṣu tamaḥsu hanta
yat — Vaikuṇṭha; na — never; vrajanti — approach; agha-bhidaḥ — of the vanquisher of all kinds of sins; racanā — of the creation; anuvādāt — than narrations; śṛṇvanti — hear; ye — those who; anya — other; viṣayāḥ — subject matter; ku-kathāḥ — bad words; mati-ghnīḥ — killing intelligence; yāḥ — which; tu — but; śrutāḥ — are heard; hata-bhagaiḥ — unfortunate; nṛbhiḥ — by men; ātta — taken away; sārāḥ — values of life; tān tān — such persons; kṣipanti — are thrown; aśaraṇeṣu — devoid of all shelter; tamaḥsu — in the darkest part of material existence; hanta — alas.
It is very much regrettable that unfortunate people do not discuss the description of the Vaikuṇṭha planets but engage in topics which are unworthy to hear and which bewilder one’s intelligence. Those who give up the topics of Vaikuṇṭha and take to talk of the material world are thrown into the darkest region of ignorance.
The most unfortunate persons are the impersonalists, who cannot understand the transcendental variegatedness of the spiritual world. They are afraid to talk about the beauty of the Vaikuṇṭha planets because they think that variegatedness must be material. Such impersonalists think that the spiritual world is completely void, or, in other words, that there is no variegatedness. This mentality is described here as ku-kathā mati-ghnīḥ, “intelligence bewildered by unworthy words.” The philosophies of voidness and of the impersonal situation of the spiritual world are condemned here because they bewilder one’s intelligence. How can the impersonalist and the void philosopher think of this material world, which is full of variegatedness, and then say that there is no variegatedness in the spiritual world? It is said that this material world is the perverted reflection of the spiritual world, so unless there is variegatedness in the spiritual world, how can there be temporary variegatedness in the material world? That one can transcend this material world does not imply that there is no transcendental variegatedness.
Here in the Bhāgavatam, in this verse particularly, it is stressed that people who try to discuss and understand the real spiritual nature of the spiritual sky and the Vaikuṇṭhas are fortunate. The variegatedness of the Vaikuṇṭha planets is described in relation to the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. But instead of trying to understand the spiritual abode and the spiritual activities of the Lord, people are more interested in politics and economic developments. They hold many conventions, meetings and discussions to solve the problems of this worldly situation, where they can remain for only a few years, but they are not interested in understanding the spiritual situation of the Vaikuṇṭha world. If they are at all fortunate, they become interested in going back home, back to Godhead, but unless they understand the spiritual world, they rot in this material darkness continuously.