Chanting is the Essence of Hare Krishna Movement

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.84.64 - Chanting is the Essence of Hare Krishna Movement (download mp3)
by Dayal Chandra Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.84.64
ma rajya-srir abhut pumsah
 sreyas-kamasya mana-da
sva-janan uta bandhun va
 na pasyati yayandha-drk

O most respectful one, may a person who wants the highest benefit in life never gain kingly opulence, for it leaves him blind to the needs of his own family and friends.

It is, of course, out of his deep humility that Vasudeva is berating himself, but his condemnation of opulence is in general valid. Earlier in this canto Narada Muni delivered a stinging criticism of Nalakuvara and Manigriva, two wealthy sons of Kuvera, the treasurer of heaven. Intoxicated by both pride and liquor, the two had failed to offer proper respects to Narada when he happened upon them as they sported naked in the Mandakini River with some young women. Seeing them in their shameful condition, Narada said,

na hy anyo jusato josyan
 buddhi-bhramso rajo-gunah
sri-madad abhijatyadir
 yatra stri dyutam asavah

“Among all the attractions of material enjoyment, the attraction of riches bewilders one’s intelligence more than having beautiful bodily features, taking birth in an aristocratic family, and being learned. When one is uneducated but falsely puffed up by wealth, the result is that one engages his wealth in enjoying wine, women and gambling.” (Bhag. 10.10.8)