Canto 4: Creation of the Fourth OrderChapter 20: Lord Viṣṇu's Appearance in the Sacrificial Arena of Mahārāja Pṛthu

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.20.4

puruṣā yadi muhyanti

tvādṛśā deva-māyayā

śrama eva paraḿ jāto

dīrghayā vṛddha-sevayā


puruṣāḥ — persons; yadi — if; muhyanti — become bewildered; tvādṛśāḥ — like you; deva — of the Supreme Lord; māyayā — by the energy; śramaḥ — exertion; eva — certainly; param — only; jātaḥ — produced; dīrghayā — for a long time; vṛddha-sevayā — by serving the superiors.


If a personality like you, who are so much advanced because of executing the instructions of the previous ācāryas, is carried away by the influence of My material energy, then all your advancement may be considered simply a waste of time.


In this verse the word vṛddha-sevayā is very significant. Vṛddha means "old." Sevayā means "by service." Perfect knowledge is acquired from the ācāryas, or liberated souls. No one can be perfect in knowledge without being trained by the paramparā system. Pṛthu Mahārāja was completely trained in that line; therefore he did not deserve to be considered an ordinary man. An ordinary man, who has only a conception of bodily existence, is always bewildered by the modes of material nature.

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