Canto 3: The Status QuoChapter 31: Lord Kapila's Instructions on the Movements of the Living Entities

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.31.17

dehy anya-deha-vivare jaṭharāgnināsṛg-

viṇ-mūtra-kūpa-patito bhṛśa-tapta-dehaḥ

icchann ito vivasituḿ gaṇayan sva-māsān

nirvāsyate kṛpaṇa-dhīr bhagavan kadā nu


dehī — the embodied soul; anya-deha — of another body; vivarein the abdomen; jaṭhara — of the stomach; agninā — by the fire; asṛk — of blood; viṭ — stool; mūtra — and urine; kūpain a pool; patitaḥ — fallen; bhṛśa — strongly; tapta — scorched; dehaḥ — his body; icchan — desiring; itaḥ — from that place; vivasitumto get out; gaṇayan — counting; svamāsān — his months; nirvāsyate — will be released; kṛpaṇa-dhīḥ — person of miserly intelligence; bhagavanO Lord; kadā — when; nu — indeed.


Fallen into a pool of blood, stool and urine within the abdomen of his mother, his own body scorched by the mother's gastric fire, the embodied soul, anxious to get out, counts his months and prays, "O my Lord, when shall I, a wretched soul, be released from this confinement?"


The precarious condition of the living entity within the womb of his mother is described here. On one side of where the child is floating is the heat of gastric fire, and on the other side are urine, stool, blood and discharges. After seven months the child, who has regained his consciousness, feels the horrible condition of his existence and prays to the Lord. Counting the months until his release, he becomes greatly anxious to get out of the confinement. The so-called civilized man does not take account of this horrible condition of life, and sometimes, for the purpose of sense gratification, he tries to kill the child by methods of contraception or abortion. Unserious about the horrible condition in the womb, such persons continue in materialism, grossly misusing the chance of the human form of life.

The word kṛpaṇa-dhīḥ is significant in this verse. Dhī means "intelligence," and kṛpaṇa means "miserly." Conditional life is for persons who are of miserly intelligence or who do not properly utilize their intelligence. In the human form of life the intelligence is developed, and one has to utilize that developed intelligence to get out of the cycle of birth and death. One who does not do so is a miser, just like a person who has immense wealth but does not utilize it, keeping it simply to see. A person who does not actually utilize his human intelligence to get out of the clutches of māyā, the cycle of birth and death, is accepted as miserly. The exact opposite of miserly is udāra, "very magnanimous." A brāhmaṇa is called udāra because he utilizes his human intelligence for spiritual realization. He uses that intelligence to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness for the benefit of the public, and therefore he is magnanimous.

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