Canto 10: The Summum BonumChapter 64: The Deliverance of King Nṛga

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.64.34

hinasti viṣam attāraḿ

vahnir adbhiḥ praśāmyati

kulaḿ sa-mūlaḿ dahati



hinasti — destroys; viṣam — poison; attāram — the one who ingests; vahniḥ — fire; adbhiḥ — with water; praśāmyati — is extinguished; kulam — one's family; sa-mūlamto the root; dahati — burns; brahma-svaa brāhmaṇa's property; araṇi — whose kindling wood; pāvakaḥ — the fire.


Poison kills only the person who ingests it, and an ordinary fire may be extinguished with water. But the fire generated from the kindling wood of a brāhmaṇa's property burns the thief's entire family down to the root.


Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī compares the fire ignited by stealing a brāhmaṇa's property to the fire that blazes within the cavity of an old tree. Such a fire cannot be put out even with the water of numerous rainfalls. Rather, it burns the whole tree from within, all the way down to the roots in the ground. Similarly, the fire ignited by stealing a brāhmaṇa's property is the most deadly and should be avoided at all costs.

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