Srimad Bhagavatam 11.23.20-22 - Krishna is the Only Shelter (download mp3)
by Radhanath Swami at ISKCON Chowpatty
bhidyante bhrātaro dārāḥ
pitaraḥ suhṛdas tathā
sadyaḥ sarve ’rayaḥ kṛtāḥ
Even a man’s brothers, wife, parents and friends united with him in love will immediately break off their affectionate relationships and become enemies over a single coin.
arthenālpīyasā hy ete
tyajanty āśu spṛdho ghnanti
For even a small amount of money these relatives and friends become very agitated and their anger is inflamed. Acting as rivals, they quickly give up all sentiments of goodwill and will reject one at a moment’s notice, even to the point of committing murder.
mānuṣyaṁ tad dvijāgryatām
tad anādṛtya ye svārthaṁ
ghnanti yānty aśubhāṁ gatim
Those who obtain human life, which is prayed for even by the demigods, and in that human birth become situated as first-class brāhmaṇas, are extremely fortunate. If they disregard this important opportunity, they are certainly killing their own self-interest and thus achieve a most unfortunate end.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura comments as follows. “Human birth is better than that of the demigods, ghosts, spirits, animals, trees, lifeless stones, and so forth, because the demigods simply enjoy celestial pleasures, and in other forms of life there is excessive suffering. It is only in human life that one deeply considers one’s ultimate benefit in life. Human birth is therefore more desirable than even that of the demigods.” Within human life the position of a high-class brāhmaṇa is certainly most desirable. If a brāhmaṇa, however, gives up the devotional service of the Lord and works hard like a śūdra simply for the prestige of his community, he is certainly on the platform of material sense gratification. The special qualification of the brāhmaṇas is the spiritual knowledge by which they recognize every living entity to be an eternal servant of the Lord. A brāhmaṇa, free from false ego, thus feels himself lower than a blade of grass and tolerantly offers respect to all living entities. All human beings, and especially the brāhmaṇas, should avoid becoming killers of their own self-interest by neglecting Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the loving service of the Lord. Such neglect paves the way for future suffering.