|Canto 11: General History||Chapter 8: The Story of Pińgalā|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.8.1
sukham aindriyakaḿ rājan
svarge naraka eva ca
dehināḿ yad yathā duḥkhaḿ
tasmān neccheta tad-budhaḥ
śrī-brāhmaṇaḥ uvāca — the saintly brāhmaṇa said; sukham — happiness; aindriyakam — generated from the material senses; rājan — O King; svarge — in material heaven; narake — in hell; eva — certainly; ca — also; dehinām — of the embodied living beings; yat — since; yathā — just as; duḥkham — unhappiness; tasmāt — therefore; na — not; iccheta — should desire; tat — that; budhaḥ — one who knows.
The saintly brāhmaṇa said: O King, the embodied living entity automatically experiences unhappiness in heaven or hell. Similarly, happiness will also be experienced, even without one's seeking it. Therefore a person of intelligent discrimination does not make any endeavor to obtain such material happiness.
One should not uselessly waste his life pursuing material sense gratification, because a specific quantity of material happiness will automatically come to one as a result of one's past and present fruitive activities. This lesson is learned from the ajagara, or python, who lies down and accepts for his maintenance whatever comes of its own accord. Remarkably, in both material heaven and hell happiness and unhappiness come automatically, due to our previous activities, although the proportions of happiness and unhappiness certainly vary. Either in heaven or in hell one may eat, drink, sleep and have sex life, but these activities, being based on the material body, are temporary and inconsequential. An intelligent person should see that even the best material situation is actually a punishment for previous unlawful activities executed outside the scope of loving devotional service to God. A conditioned soul undergoes great trouble to obtain a little happiness. After struggling in material life, which is full of hardship and hypocrisy, one may receive a little sense gratification, but this illusory pleasure in no way offsets the burden of suffering one must bear to obtain it. After all, a pretty hat is no cure for a homely face. If one really wants to solve life's problems, one should live simply and reserve the major portion of one's life for loving service to Kṛṣṇa. Even those who do not serve God receive a certain standard of maintenance from Him; therefore we can just imagine the security the Lord affords to those who dedicate their lives to His devotional service.
Unrefined fruitive workers foolishly worry only about the present life, whereas more pious karmīs imprudently make elaborate arrangements for future material sense gratification, unaware that all such enjoyment is temporary. The real solution, however, is to understand that by pleasing the Personality of Godhead, who is the master of all senses and all desires, one can attain permanent happiness. Such knowledge easily solves the problems of life.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
His Holiness Hrdayananda dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari
Dravida dasa Brahmacari