|Canto 10: The Summum Bonum||Chapter 10: Deliverance of the Yamala-arjuna Trees|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.10.10
deva-saḿjñitam apy ante
bhūta-dhruk tat-kṛte svārthaḿ
kiḿ veda nirayo yataḥ
deva-saḿjñitam — the body now known as a very exalted person, like president, minister or even demigod; api — even if the body is so exalted; ante — after death; kṛmi — turns into worms; viṭ — or into stool; bhasma-saḿjñitam — or into ashes; bhūta-dhruk — a person who does not accept the śāstric injunctions and is unnecessarily envious of other living entities; tat-kṛte — by acting in that way; sva-artham — self-interest; kim — who is there; veda — who knows; nirayaḥ yataḥ — because from such sinful activities one must suffer hellish conditions.
While living one may be proud of one's body, thinking oneself a very big man, minister, president or even demigod, but whatever one may be, after death this body will turn either into worms, into stool or into ashes. If one kills poor animals to satisfy the temporary whims of this body, one does not know that he will suffer in his next birth, for such a sinful miscreant must go to hell and suffer the results of his actions.
In this verse the three words kṛmi-vid-bhasma are significant. After death, the body may become kṛmi, which means "worms," for if the body is disposed of without cremation, it may be eaten by worms; or else it may be eaten by animals like hogs and vultures and be turned into stool. Those who are more civilized burn the dead body, and thus it becomes ashes (bhasma-saḿjñitam). Yet although the body will be turned into worms, stool or ashes, foolish persons, just to maintain it, commit many sinful activities. This is certainly regrettable. The human form of body is actually meant for jīvasya tattva jijñāsā, enlightenment in knowledge of spiritual values. Therefore, one must seek shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. Tasmād guruḿ prapadyeta: one must approach a guru. Who is a guru? Śābde pare ca niṣṇātam (Bhāg. 11.3.21): a guru is one who has full transcendental knowledge. Unless one approaches a spiritual master, one remains in ignorance. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6.14.2): one has full knowledge about life when one is ācāryavān, controlled by the ācārya. But when one is conducted by rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, one does not care about anything; instead, one acts like an ordinary foolish animal, risking his life (mṛtyu-saḿsāra-vartmani) and therefore continuing to go through suffering after suffering. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiḿ hi viṣṇum (Bhāg. 7.5.31). Such a foolish person does not know how to elevate himself in this body. Instead, he indulges in sinful activities and goes deeper and deeper into hellish life.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
His Holiness Hrdayananda dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari
Dravida dasa Brahmacari