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ŚB 4.22.13


कच्चिन्न: कुशलं नाथा इन्द्रियार्थार्थवेदिनाम् ।
व्यसनावाप एतस्मिन्पतितानां स्वकर्मभि: ॥ १३ ॥


kaccin naḥ kuśalaṁ nāthā
vyasanāvāpa etasmin
patitānāṁ sva-karmabhiḥ


kaccit — whether; naḥ — our; kuśalam — good fortune; nāthāḥ — O masters; indriya-artha — sense gratification as the ultimate goal of life; artha-vedinām — persons who understand only sense gratification; vyasana — illness; āvāpe — got; etasmin — in this material existence; patitānām — those who are fallen; sva-karmabhiḥ — by their own ability.


Pṛthu Mahārāja inquired from the sages about persons entangled in this dangerous material existence because of their previous actions. Could such persons, whose only aim is sense gratification, be blessed with any good fortune?


Mahārāja Pṛthu did not ask the Kumāras about their good fortune, for the Kumāras are always auspicious by dint of their life in celibacy. Since they are always engaged on the path of liberation, there was no question of ill fortune. In other words, brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas who are strictly following the path of spiritual advancement are always fortunate. The question was asked by Pṛthu Mahārāja for his own sake, since he was in the position of a gṛhastha and in charge of the royal authority. Kings are not only gṛhasthas, who are generally absorbed in sense gratification, but are sometimes employed to kill animals in hunting because they have to practice the killing art; otherwise it is very difficult for them to fight their enemies. Such things are not auspicious. Four kinds of sinful activities — associating with woman for illicit sex, eating meat, intoxication and gambling — are allowed for the kṣatriyas. For political reasons, sometimes they have to take to these sinful activities. Kṣatriyas do not refrain from gambling. One vivid example is the Pāṇḍavas. When the Pāṇḍavas were challenged by the opposite party, Duryodhana, to gamble and risk their kingdom, they could not refrain, and by that gambling they lost their kingdom, and their wife was insulted. Similarly, the kṣatriyas cannot refrain from fighting if challenged by the opposite party. Therefore Pṛthu Mahārāja, taking consideration of all these facts, inquired whether there is any auspicious path. Gṛhastha life is inauspicious because gṛhastha means consciousness for sense gratification, and as soon as there is sense gratification, one’s position is always full of dangers. This material world is said to be padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām, dangerous in every step (Bhāg. 10.14.58). Everyone in this material world is struggling hard for sense gratification. Clearing all these points, Mahārāja Pṛthu inquired from the four Kumāras about the fallen conditioned souls who are rotting in this material world due to their past bad or inauspicious activities: “Is there any possibility for their auspicious spiritual life?” In this verse, the word indriyārthārtha-vedinām is very significant. It indicates persons whose only aim is to satisfy the senses. They are also described as patitānām, or fallen. Only one who stops all activities for sense gratification is considered to be elevated. Another significant word is sva-karmabhiḥ. One becomes fallen by dint of his own past bad activities. Everyone is responsible for his fallen condition because of his own activities. When activities are changed to devotional service, one’s auspicious life begins.