Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 8: The Story of Pińgalā

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.8.6

samṛddha-kāmo hīno

nārāyaṇa-paro muniḥ

notsarpeta na śuṣyeta

saridbhir iva sāgaraḥ

SYNONYMS

samṛddha — flourishing; kāmaḥ — material opulence; hīnaḥ — destitute; — or; nārāyaṇa — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; paraḥ — accepting as supreme; muniḥa saintly devotee; na — does not; utsarpeta — swell up; na — does not; śuṣyeta — dry up; saridbhiḥ — by the rivers; iva — like; sāgaraḥ — the ocean.

TRANSLATION

During the rainy season the swollen rivers rush into the ocean, and during the dry summer the rivers, now shallow, severely reduce their supply of water; yet the ocean does not swell up during the rainy season, nor does it dry up in the hot summer. In the same way, a saintly devotee who has accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the goal of his life sometimes will receive by providence great material opulence, and sometimes he will find himself materially destitute. However, such a devotee of the Lord does not rejoice in a flourishing condition, nor is he morose when poverty-stricken.

PURPORT

A sincere devotee of the Lord is always eager to meet the Lord and render Him transcendental service. He wants to remain fixed as an atom at the lotus feet of the Lord because Lord Kṛṣṇa, or Nārāyaṇa, is the reservoir of all pleasure. He rejoices when experiencing pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness and is morose when Kṛṣṇa is not present in his mind. In his dealings with the material world, a devotee cannot be disturbed by ordinary, materialistic people who sometimes insult him and accuse him of neglecting material sense gratification, just as the ocean cannot be disturbed by the innumerable rivers that enter into it. Sometimes lusty women approach a pure devotee, and sometimes speculative philosophers try to argue against the Personality of Godhead, but with all such ordinary people, a pure devotee is detached and undisturbed in his blissful Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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