Material Life Is No Fun

Srimad Bhagavatam 09.06.52-54 - Material Life Is No Fun (download mp3)
by Shubha Vilas Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

  SB 9.6.52
ekas tapasvy aham athambhasi matsya-sangat
pañcasad asam uta pañca-sahasra-sargah
nantam vrajamy ubhaya-krtya-manorathanam
maya-gunair hrta-matir visaye 'rtha-bhavah

In the beginning I was alone and engaged in performing the austerities of mystic yoga, but later, because of the association of fish engaged in sex, I desired to marry. Then I became the husband of fifty wives, and in each of them I begot one hundred sons, and thus my family increased to five thousand members. By the influence of the modes of material nature, I became fallen and thought that I would be happy in material life. Thus there is no end to my material desires for enjoyment, in this life and the next.

SB 9.6.53
evam vasan grhe kalam
virakto nyasam asthitah
vanam jagamanuyayus
tat-patnyah pati-devatah

In this way he passed his life in household affairs for some time, but then he became detached from material enjoyment. To renounce material association, he accepted the vanaprastha order and went to the forest. His devoted wives followed him, for they had no shelter other than their husband.

SB 9.6.54
tatra taptva tapas tiksnam
atma-darsanam atmavan
sahaivagnibhir atmanam
yuyoja paramatmani

When Saubhari Muni, who was quite conversant with the self, went to the forest, he performed severe penances. In this way, in the fire at the time of death, he ultimately engaged himself in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

At the time of death, fire burns the gross body, and if there is no more desire for material enjoyment the subtle body is also ended, and in this way a pure soul remains. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]). If one is free from the bondage of both the gross and subtle material bodies and remains a pure soul, he returns home, back to Godhead, to be engaged in the service of the Lord. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti: he goes back home, back to Godhead. Thus it appears that Saubhari Muni attained that perfect stage.