Canto 3: The Status QuoChapter 5: Vidura's Talks with Maitreya

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.5.14

tāñ chocya-śocyān avido 'nuśoce

hareḥ kathāyāḿ vimukhān aghena

kṣiṇoti devo 'nimiṣas tu yeṣām

āyur vṛthā-vāda-gati-smṛtīnām

SYNONYMS

tān — all those; śocya — pitiable; śocyān — of the pitiable; avidaḥ — ignorant; anuśoceI pity; hareḥ — of the Lord; kathāyāmto the topics of; vimukhān — averse; aghena — because of sinful activities; kṣiṇoti — decaying; devaḥ — the Lord; animiṣaḥ — eternal time; tu — but; yeṣām — of whom; āyuḥ — duration of life; vṛthā — uselessly; vāda — philosophical speculations; gati — ultimate goal; smṛtīnām — of those following different rituals.

TRANSLATION

O sage, persons who because of their sinful activities are averse to the topics of Transcendence and thus ignorant of the purpose of the Mahābhārata [Bhagavad-gītā] are pitied by the pitiable. I also pity them because I see how their duration of life is spoiled by eternal time while they involve themselves in presentations of philosophical speculation, theoretical ultimate goals of life, and different modes of ritual.

PURPORT

According to the modes of material nature, there are three kinds of relationships between human beings and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who are in the modes of ignorance and passion are averse to the existence of God, or else they formally accept the existence of God in the capacity of an order supplier. Above them are those who are in the mode of goodness. This second class of men believe the Supreme Brahman to be impersonal. They accept the cult of bhakti, in which hearing of kṛṣṇa-kathā is the first item, as a means and not the end. Above them are those who are pure devotees. They are situated in the transcendental stage above the mode of material goodness. Such persons are decidedly convinced that the name, form, fame, qualities, etc., of the Personality of Godhead are nondifferent from one another on the absolute plane. For them, hearing of the topics of Kṛṣṇa is equal to meeting with Him face to face. According to this class of men, who are situated in pure devotional service to the Lord, the highest goal of human life is puruṣārtha, devotional service to the Lord, the real mission of life. The impersonalists, because they engage in mental speculation and have no faith in the Personality of Godhead, have no business hearing the topics of Kṛṣṇa. Such persons are pitiable for the first-class pure devotees of the Lord. The pitiable impersonalists pity those who are influenced by the modes of ignorance and passion, but the pure devotees of the Lord take pity on them both because both waste their most valuable time in the human form of life in false pursuits, sense enjoyment and mental speculative presentations of different theories and goals of life.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness