“Displaying their compassion for such foolish materialists, the personified Vedas advise them in this prayer to remember the real purpose for which they exist: to serve the Lord, their greatest well-wisher, with loving devotion. The human body is the ideal facility for reviving one’s spiritual consciousness; its organs — ears, tongue, eyes and so on — are quite suitable for hearing about the Lord, chanting His glories, worshiping Him and performing all the other essential aspects of devotional service.

One’s material body is destined to remain intact for only a short time, and so it is called kulāyam, subject to “dissolving into the earth” (kau līyate). Nonetheless, if properly utilized it can be one’s best friend. When one is immersed in material consciousness, however, the body becomes a false friend, distracting the bewildered living entity from his true self-interest. Persons too much infatuated with their own bodies and those of their spouses, children, pets and so on are in fact misdirecting their devotion to the worship of illusion, asad-upāsanā. In this way, as the śrutis state here, such people commit spiritual suicide, insuring future punishment for failing to carry out the higher responsibilities of human existence. As the Īśopaniṣad (3) declares:

asuryā nāma te lokā andhena tamasāvṛtāḥ
tāṁs te pretyābhigacchanti ye ke cātma-hano janāḥ

“The killer of the soul, whoever he may be, must enter into the planets known as the worlds of the faithless, full of darkness and ignorance.”

Those who are overly attached to sense gratification, or who worship the impermanent in the form of false, materialistic scriptures and philosophies, maintain desires that carry them into more degraded bodies in each successive life. Since they are entrapped in the perpetually rotating cycle of saṁsāra, their only hope for salvation is getting a chance to hear the merciful instructions spoken by the Supreme Lord’s devotees.”

SourceA.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Tenth Canto, Chapter 87 – Text 22

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