Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for MankindChapter 16: King Citraketu Meets the Supreme Lord

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.16.38

viṣaya-tṛṣo nara-paśavo

ya upāsate vibhūtīr na paraḿ tvām

teṣām āśiṣa īśa

tad anu vinaśyanti yathā rāja-kulam


viṣaya-tṛṣaḥ — eager to enjoy sense gratification; nara-paśavaḥ — manlike animals; ye — who; upāsate — worship very gorgeously; vibhūtīḥ — small particles of the Supreme Lord (the demigods); na — not; param — the Supreme; tvām — You; teṣām — of them; āśiṣaḥ — the benedictions; īśaO supreme controller; tat — them (the demigods); anu — after; vinaśyanti — will be vanquished; yathā — just as; rāja-kulam — those who are supported by the government (when the government is finished).


O Lord, O Supreme, unintelligent persons who thirst for sense enjoyment and who worship various demigods are no better than animals in the human form of life. Because of their animalistic propensities, they fail to worship Your Lordship, and instead they worship the insignificant demigods, who are but small sparks of Your glory. With the destruction of the entire universe, including the demigods, the benedictions received from the demigods also vanish, just like the nobility when a king is no longer in power.


Bhagavad-gītā (7.20) says, kāmais tais tair hṛta jñānāḥ prapadyante 'nya-devatāḥ: "Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto the demigods." Similarly, this verse condemns worship of the demigods. We may show our respect to the demigods, but the demigods are not worshipable. The intelligence of those who worship the demigods is lost (hṛta jñānāḥ) because these worshipers do not know that when the entire material cosmic manifestation is annihilated, the demigods, who are the departmental heads of that manifestation, will be vanquished. When the demigods are vanquished, the benedictions given by the demigods to unintelligent men will also be vanquished. Therefore a devotee should not hanker to obtain material opulence by worshiping the demigods, but should engage in the service of the Lord, who will satisfy all his desires.

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

yajeta puruṣaḿ param

"Whether full of all material desires, free from material desires or desiring liberation, a person who has broader intelligence must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead." (Bhāg. 2.3.10) This is the duty of a perfect human being. One who has the shape of a human being but whose actions are nothing but those of an animal is called nara-paśu or dvipada-paśu, a two-legged animal. A human being who is not interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is condemned herewith as a nara-paśu.

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