|Canto 4: Creation of the Fourth Order||Chapter 16: Praise of King Pṛthu by the Professional Reciters|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.16.1
iti bruvāṇaḿ nṛpatiḿ
maitreyaḥ uvāca — the great sage Maitreya said; iti — thus; bruvāṇam — speaking; nṛpatim — the King; gāyakāḥ — the reciters; muni — by the sages; coditāḥ — having been instructed; tuṣṭuvuḥ — praised, satisfied; tuṣṭa — being pleased; manasaḥ — their minds; tat — his; vāk — words; amṛta — nectarean; sevayā — by hearing.
The great sage Maitreya continued: While King Pṛthu thus spoke, the humility of his nectarean speeches pleased the reciters very much. Then again they continued to praise the King highly with exalted prayers, as they had been instructed by the great sages.
Here the word muni-coditāḥ indicates instructions received from great sages and saintly persons. Although Mahārāja Pṛthu was simply enthroned on the royal seat and was not at that time exhibiting his godly powers, the reciters like the sūta, the māgadha and the vandī understood that King Pṛthu was an incarnation of God. They could understand this by the instructions given by the great sages and learned brāhmaṇas. We have to understand the incarnations of God by the instructions of authorized persons. We cannot manufacture a God by our own concoctions. As stated by Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, sādhu-śāstra-guru: one has to test all spiritual matters according to the instructions of saintly persons, scriptures and the spiritual master. The spiritual master is one who follows the instructions of his predecessors, namely the sādhus, or saintly persons. A bona fide spiritual master does not mention anything not mentioned in the authorized scriptures. Ordinary people have to follow the instructions of sādhu, śāstra and guru. Those statements made in the śāstras and those made by the bona fide sādhu or guru cannot differ from one another.
Reciters like the sūta and the māgadha were confidentially aware that King Pṛthu was an incarnation of the Personality of Godhead. Although the King denied such praise because he was not at that time exhibiting his godly qualities, the reciters did not stop praising him. Rather, they were very pleased with the King, who, although actually an incarnation of God, was so humble and delightful in his dealings with devotees. In this connection we may note that previously (4.15.21) it was mentioned that King Pṛthu was smiling and was in a pleasant mood while speaking to the reciters. Thus we have to learn from the Lord or His incarnation how to become gentle and humble. The King's behavior was very pleasing to the reciters, and consequently the reciters continued their praise and even foretold the King's future activities, as they had been instructed by the sādhus and sages.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness