satāṁ guṇaiḥ ṣaḍbhir asattametaraiḥ
smṛtau hatāyāṁ bhṛta-māna-durdṛśaḥ
stabdhā na paśyanti hi dhāma bhūyasām
It may be argued that since Dakṣa was very learned, wealthy and austere and had descended from a very exalted heritage, how could he be unnecessarily angry towards another? The answer is that when the qualities of good education, good parentage, beauty and sufficient wealth are misplaced in a person who is puffed up by all these possessions, they produce a very bad result. Milk is a very nice food, but when milk is touched by an envious serpent it becomes poisonous. Similarly, material assets such as education, wealth, beauty and good parentage are undoubtedly nice, but when they decorate persons of a malicious nature, then they act adversely. Another example, given by Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, is that a serpent that has a jewel on its head is still fearful because it is a serpent. A serpent, by nature, is envious of other living entities, even though they be faultless. When a serpent bites another creature, it is not necessarily because the other creature is at fault; it is the habit of the serpent to bite innocent creatures. Similarly, although Dakṣa was qualified by many material assets, because he was proud of his possessions and because he was envious, all those qualities were polluted. It is therefore sometimes detrimental for a person advancing in spiritual consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, to possess such material assets. Kuntīdevī, while offering prayers to Kṛṣṇa, addressed Him as akiñcana-gocara, one who is easily approached by those who are bereft of all material acquisitions. Material exhaustion is an advantage for advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, although if one is conscious of his eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can utilize one’s material assets, such as great learning and beauty and exalted ancestry, for the service of the Lord; then such assets become glorious. In other words, unless one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, all his material possessions are zero, but when this zero is by the side of the Supreme One, it at once increases in value to ten. Unless situated by the side of the Supreme One, zero is always zero; one may add one hundred zeros, but the value will still remain zero. Unless one’s material assets are used in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they may play havoc and degrade the possessor.