Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 21: Lord Kṛṣṇa's Explanation of the Vedic Path

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.21.27

kāminaḥ kṛpaṇā lubdhāḥ

puṣpeṣu phala-buddhayaḥ

agni-mugdhā dhūma-tāntāḥ

svaḿ lokaḿ na vidanti te


kāminaḥ — lusty persons; kṛpaṇāḥ — miserly; lubdhāḥ — greedy; puṣpeṣu — flowers; phala-buddhayaḥ — thinking to be the ultimate fruits; agni — by fire; mugdhāḥ — bewildered; dhūma-tāntāḥ — suffocating from smoke; svam — their own; lokam — identity; na vidantido not recognize; te — they.


Those who are full of lust, avarice and greed mistake mere flowers to be the actual fruit of life. Bewildered by the glare of fire and suffocated by its smoke, they cannot recognize their own true identity.


Those attached to female association become proud separatists; desiring everything for their personal gratification and that of their lady friends, they become greedy misers, full of anxiety and envy. Such unfortunate persons mistake the flowery statements of the Vedas to be the highest perfection of life. The word agni-mugdhāḥ, "bewildered by fire," indicates that such persons consider Vedic fire sacrifices awarding material benefit to be the highest religious truth, and thus they merge into ignorance. Fire produces smoke, which obscures one's vision. Similarly, the path of fruitive fire sacrifices is cloudy and obscure, without clear understanding of the spirit soul. The Lord here clearly states that fruitive religionists cannot understand their actual spiritual identity, nor do they realize the genuine shelter of the spirit soul in the kingdom of God.

Lord Kṛṣṇa states in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15), vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ: all Vedic knowledge is actually meant to lead one to pure love of Godhead. Lord Kṛṣṇa is certainly the Absolute Truth, and to love Him is the ultimate purpose of our existence. The Vedic knowledge patiently tries to bring the conditioned soul to this perfection of pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

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