Canto 5: The Creative ImpetusChapter 4: The Characteristics of Ṛṣabhadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.4.6

yasya ha pāṇḍaveya ślokāv udāharanti

ko nu tat karma rājarṣer

nābher anv ācaret pumān

apatyatām agād yasya

hariḥ śuddhena karmaṇā

SYNONYMS

yasya — of whom; ha — indeed; pāṇḍaveyaO Mahārāja Parīkṣit; ślokau — two verses; udāharanti — recite; kaḥ — who; nu — then; tat — that; karma — work; rāja-ṛṣeḥ — of the pious King; nābheḥNābhi; anu — following; ācaret — could execute; pumāna man; apatyatām — sonhood; agāt — accepted; yasya — whose; hariḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; śuddhenapure, executed in devotional service; karmaṇā — by activities.

TRANSLATION

O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, to glorify Mahārāja Nābhi, the old sages composed two verses. One of them is this: "Who can attain the perfection of Mahārāja Nābhi? Who can attain his activities? Because of his devotional service, the Supreme Personality of Godhead agreed to become his son."

PURPORT

The words śuddhena karmaṇā are significant in this verse. If work is not carried out in devotional service, it is contaminated by the modes of material nature. That is explained in Bhagavad-gītā: yajñārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra loko 'yaḿ karma-bandhanaḥ [Bg. 3.9]). Activities performed only for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord are pure and are not contaminated by the modes of material nature. All other activities are contaminated by the modes of ignorance and passion, as well as goodness. All material activities meant for satisfying the senses are contaminated, and Mahārāja Nābhi did not perform anything contaminated. He simply executed his transcendental activities even when performing yajña. Consequently he obtained the Supreme Lord as his son.

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