|Canto 4: Creation of the Fourth Order||Chapter 18: Pṛthu Mahārāja Milks the Earth Planet|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.18.6
purā sṛṣṭā hy oṣadhayo
brahmaṇā yā viśāmpate
bhujyamānā mayā dṛṣṭā
purā — in the past; sṛṣṭāḥ — created; hi — certainly; oṣadhayaḥ — herbs and food grains; brahmaṇā — by Lord Brahmā; yāḥ — all those which; viśām-pate — O King; bhujyamānāḥ — being enjoyed; mayā — by me; dṛṣṭāḥ — seen; asadbhiḥ — by nondevotees; adhṛta-vrataiḥ — devoid of all spiritual activities.
My dear King, the seeds, roots, herbs and grains, which were created by Lord Brahmā in the past, are now being used by nondevotees, who are devoid of all spiritual understanding.
Lord Brahmā created this material world for the use of the living entities, but it was created according to a plan that all living entities who might come into it to dominate it for sense gratification would be given directions by Lord Brahmā in the Vedas in order that they might ultimately leave it and return home, back to Godhead. All necessities grown on earth — namely fruits, flowers, trees, grains, animals and animal by-products — were created for use in sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu. However, the planet earth in the shape of a cow herein submits that all these utilities are being used by nondevotees, who have no plans for spiritual understanding. Although there are immense potencies within the earth for the production of grains, fruits and flowers, this production is checked by the earth itself when it is misused by nondevotees, who have no spiritual goals. Everything belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and everything can be used for His satisfaction. Things should not be used for the sense gratification of the living entities. This is the whole plan of material nature according to the directions of this material nature.
In this verse the words asadbhiḥ and adhṛta-vrataiḥ are important. The word asadbhiḥ refers to the nondevotees. The nondevotees have been described in Bhagavad-gītā as duṣkṛtinaḥ (miscreants), mūḍhāḥ (asses or rascals), narādhamāḥ (lowest of mankind) and māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ (those who have lost their knowledge to the power of the illusory energy). All these persons are asat, nondevotees. Nondevotees are also called gṛha-vrata, whereas the devotee is called dhṛta-vrata. The whole Vedic plan is that the misguided conditioned souls who have come to lord it over material nature should be trained to become dhṛta-vrata. This means that they should take a vow to satisfy their senses or enjoy material life only by satisfying the senses of the Supreme Lord. Activities intended to satisfy the senses of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, are called kṛṣṇārthe 'khila-ceṣṭāḥ. This indicates that one can attempt all kinds of work, but one should do so to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. This is described in Bhagavad-gītā as yajñārthāt karma. The word yajña indicates Lord Viṣṇu. We should work only for His satisfaction. In modern times (Kali-yuga), however, people have forgotten Viṣṇu altogether, and they conduct their activities for sense gratification. Such people will gradually become poverty-stricken, for they cannot use things which are to be enjoyed by the Supreme Lord for their own sense gratification. If they continue like this, there will ultimately be a state of poverty, and no grains, fruits or flowers will be produced. Indeed, it is stated in the Twelfth Canto of Bhāgavatam that at the end of Kali-yuga people will be so polluted that there will no longer be any grains, wheat, sugarcane or milk.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness