सभ्या: शृणुत भद्रं व: साधवो य इहागता: ।
सत्सु जिज्ञासुभिर्धर्ममावेद्यं स्वमनीषितम् ॥ २१ ॥
sabhyāḥ śṛṇuta bhadraṁ vaḥ
sādhavo ya ihāgatāḥ
satsu jijñāsubhir dharmam
rājā uvāca — the King began to speak; sabhyāḥ — addressing the ladies and gentlemen; śṛṇuta — kindly hear; bhadram — good fortune; vaḥ — your; sādhavaḥ — all great souls; ye — who; iha — here; āgatāḥ — present; satsu — unto the noble men; jijñāsubhiḥ — one who is inquisitive; dharmam — religious principles; āvedyam — must be presented; sva-manīṣitam — concluded by someone.
King Pṛthu said: O gentle members of the assembly, may all good fortune be upon you! May all of you great souls who have come to attend this meeting kindly hear my prayer attentively. A person who is actually inquisitive must present his decision before an assembly of noble souls.
In this verse the word sādhavaḥ, “all great souls,” is very significant. When a person is very great and famous, many unscrupulous persons become his enemies, for envy is the nature of materialists. In any meeting there are different classes of men, and therefore it is to be supposed that because Pṛthu Mahārāja was very great, he must have had several enemies present in the assembly, although they could not express themselves. Mahārāja Pṛthu, however, was concerned with persons who were gentle, and therefore he first addressed all the honest persons, not caring for the envious. He did not, however, present himself as a royal authority empowered to command everyone, for he wanted to present his statement in humble submission before the assembly of great sages and saintly persons. As a great king of the entire world, he could have given them orders, but he was so humble, meek and honest that he presented his statement for approval in order to clarify his mature decision. Everyone within this material world is conditioned by the modes of material nature and therefore has four defects. But although Pṛthu Mahārāja was above all these, still, like an ordinary conditioned soul, he presented his statements to the great souls, sages and saintly persons present there.