The King thus began criticizing himself: Alas, how condemned I have
become because of my sense gratification! I have now fallen into material
enjoyment, which is exactly like a covered well. I have had enough! I am not
going to enjoy any more. Just see how I have become like a dancing monkey in
the hands of my wife. Because of this, I am condemned.
How condemned is the advancement of material knowledge can be
understood from the behavior of Maharaja Priyavrata. He performed such
wonderful acts as creating another sun, which shined during the night, and
creating a chariot so great that its wheels formed vast oceans. These activities
are so great that modern scientists cannot even imagine how such things can
be done. Maharaja Priyavrata acted very wonderfully in the material field of
activities, but because he was dealing in sense gratification—ruling his
kingdom and dancing to the indications of his beautiful wife—he personally
condemned himself. When we think about this example of Maharaja
Priyavrata, we can just consider how degraded is the modern civilization of
materialistic advancement. Modern so-called scientists and other materialists
are very satisfied because they can construct great bridges, roads and machines,
but such activities are nothing comparable to those of Maharaja Priyavrata. If
Maharaja Priyavrata could condemn himself in spite of his wonderful
activities, how condemned we are in our so-called advancement of material
civilization. We can conclude that such advancement has nothing to do with
the problems of the living entity entangled within this material world.
Unfortunately, modern man does not understand his entanglement and how
condemned he is, nor does he know what kind of body he is going to have in
the next life. From a spiritual point of view, a great kingdom, beautiful wife
and wonderful material activities are all impediments to spiritual
advancement. Maharaja Priyavrata had served the great sage Narada sincerely.
Therefore even though he had accepted material opulence, he could not be
deviated from his own task. He again became Krishna conscious.
As confirmed in Bhagavad-geeta : Chapter2. Slokam-40.
"In devotional service there is no loss or diminution, and even a small service
rendered in devotional life is sufficient to save one from the greatest danger."
(Bg. 2.40) Such renunciation as Maharaja Priyavrata's is possible only by the
grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Generally when people are
powerful or when they have a beautiful wife, a beautiful home and material
popularity, they become more and more entangled. Priyavrata Maharaja,
however, having been completely trained by the great sage Narada, revived his
Krishna consciousness in spite of all impediments.