adṛṣṭvā tasya nirvāṇaṁ
kim asat-karmabhir bhavet
bhūḥ — the earth; kṣetram — the field of activities; jīva-saṁjñam — the designation of the spiritual living being who is bound by different results of activity; yat — which; anādi — existing since time immemorial; nija-bandhanam — causing his own bondage; adṛṣṭvā — without seeing; tasya — of this; nirvāṇam — the cessation; kim — what benefit; asat-karmabhiḥ — with temporary fruitive activities; bhavet — there can be.
[The Haryaśvas understood the meaning of Nārada’s words as follows.] The word “bhūḥ” [“the earth”] refers to the field of activities. The material body, which is a result of the living being’s actions, is his field of activities, and it gives him false designations. Since time immemorial, he has received various types of material bodies, which are the roots of bondage to the material world. If one foolishly engages in temporary fruitive activities and does not look toward the cessation of this bondage, what will be the benefit of his actions?
Nārada Muni spoke to the Haryaśvas, the sons of Prajāpati Dakṣa, about ten allegorical subjects — the king, the kingdom, the river, the house, the physical elements and so forth. After considering these by themselves, the Haryaśvas could understand that the living entity encaged in his body seeks happiness, but takes no interest in how to become free from his encagement. This is a very important verse, since all the living entities in the material world are very active, having obtained their particular types of bodies. A man works all day and night for sense gratification, and animals like hogs and dogs also work for sense gratification all day and night. Birds, beasts and all other conditioned living entities engage in various activities without knowledge of the soul encaged within the body. Especially in the human form of body, one’s duty is to act in such a way that he can release himself from his encagement, but without the instructions of Nārada or his representative in the disciplic succession, people blindly engage in bodily activities to enjoy māyā-sukha — flickering, temporary happiness. They do not know how to become free from their material encagement. Ṛṣabhadeva therefore said that such activity is not at all good, since it encages the soul again and again in a body subjected to the threefold miseries of the material condition.
The Haryaśvas, the sons of Prajāpati Dakṣa, could immediately understand the purport of Nārada’s instructions. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is especially meant for such enlightenment. We are trying to enlighten humanity so that people may come to the understanding that they should work hard in tapasya for self-realization and freedom from the continuous bondage of birth, death, old age and disease in one body after another. Māyā, however, is very strong; she is expert in putting impediments in the way of this understanding. Therefore sometimes one comes to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement but again falls into the clutches of māyā, not understanding the importance of this movement.