र्योऽर्थान् समीहेत निकामकाम: ।
रनन्तदु:खं च न वेद मूढ: ॥ १६ ॥
yo ’rthān samīheta nikāma-kāmaḥ
ananta-duḥkhaṁ ca na veda mūḍhaḥ
lokaḥ — people; svayam — personally; śreyasi — of the path of auspiciousness; naṣṭa-dṛṣṭiḥ — who have lost sight; yaḥ — who; arthān — things meant for sense gratification; samīheta — desire; nikāma-kāmaḥ — having too many lusty desires for sense enjoyment; anyonya-vairaḥ — being envious of one another; sukha-leśa-hetoḥ — simply for temporary material happiness; ananta-duḥkham — unlimited sufferings; ca — also; na — do not; veda — know; mūḍhaḥ — foolish.
Due to ignorance, the materialistic person does not know anything about his real self-interest, the auspicious path in life. He is simply bound to material enjoyment by lusty desires, and all his plans are made for this purpose. For temporary sense gratification, such a person creates a society of envy, and due to this mentality, he plunges into the ocean of suffering. Such a foolish person does not even know about this.
The word naṣṭa-dṛṣṭiḥ, meaning “one who has no eyes to see the future,” is very significant in this verse. Life goes on from one body to another, and the activities performed in this life are enjoyed or suffered in the next life, if not later in this life. One who is unintelligent, who has no eyes to see the future, simply creates enmity and fights with others for sense gratification. As a result, one suffers in the next life, but due to being like a blind man, he continues to act in such a way that he suffers unlimitedly. Such a person is a mūḍha, one who simply wastes his time and does not understand the Lord’s devotional service. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (7.25):
mūḍho ’yaṁ nābhijānāti
loko mām ajam avyayam
“I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My eternal creative potency [yoga-māyā]; and so the deluded world knows Me not, who am unborn and infallible.”
In the Kaṭha Upaniṣad it is also said: avidyāyām antare vartamānāḥ svayaṁ dhīrāḥ paṇḍitaṁ manyamānāḥ. Although ignorant, people still go to other blind men for leadership. As a result, both are subjected to miserable conditions. The blind lead the blind into the ditch.