yā yajña-śālāsu na dhūma-vartmabhiḥ
tad-anna-tṛptair asu-bhṛdbhir īḍitā
Satī’s father was under the impression that he was exalted in both prestige and opulence and that he had offered his daughter to a person who was not only poor but devoid of all culture. Her father might have been thinking that although she was a chaste woman, greatly adherent to her husband, her husband was in a deplorable condition. To counteract such thoughts, Satī said that the opulence possessed by her husband could not be understood by materialistic persons like Dakṣa and his followers, who were flatterers and were engaged in fruitive activities. Her husband’s position was different. He possessed all opulences, but he did not like to exhibit them. Therefore such opulences are called avyakta, or unmanifested. But if required, simply by willing, Lord Śiva can show his wonderful opulences, and such an event is predicted here, for it would soon occur. The opulence Lord Śiva possesses is enjoyable in renunciation and love of God, not in material exhibition of sense gratificatory methods. Such opulences are possessed by personalities like the Kumāras, Nārada and Lord Śiva, not by others.
In this verse the performers of the Vedic rituals are condemned. They have been described here as dhūma-vartmabhiḥ, those who maintain themselves on the remnants of sacrificial foodstuff. There are two kinds of foodstuff offered in sacrifice. One kind is food offered in fruitive ritualistic sacrifices, and the other, the best, is food offered to Viṣṇu. Although in all cases Viṣṇu is the chief Deity on the sacrificial altar, the performers of fruitive rituals aim to satisfy various demigods to achieve in return some material prosperity. Real sacrifice, however, is to satisfy Lord Viṣṇu, and the remnants of such sacrifices are beneficial for advancement in devotional service. The process of elevation by performing sacrifices other than those aimed at Viṣṇu is very slow, and therefore it has been condemned in this verse. Viśvanātha Cakravartī has described the ritualistic performers to be like crows because crows delight in eating the remnants of food which has been thrown into the dustbin. All the brāhmaṇas who were present for the sacrifice were also condemned by Satī.
Whether or not King Dakṣa and his flatterers could understand the position of Lord Śiva, Satī wanted to impress upon her father that he should not think her husband to be without opulence. Satī, being the devoted wife of Lord Śiva, offers all kinds of material opulences to the worshipers of Lord Śiva. This fact is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in the Tenth Canto. Lord Śiva’s worshipers sometimes appear more opulent than the worshipers of Lord Viṣṇu because Durgā, or Satī, being the superintendent in charge of material affairs, can offer all material opulences to the worshipers of Lord Śiva in order to glorify her husband, whereas the worshipers of Viṣṇu are meant for spiritual elevation, and therefore their material opulence is sometimes found to decrease. These points are very nicely discussed in the Tenth Canto.