tathaiva rajann uru-garhamedha-
na veda-vadesu hi tattva-vadah
prayena suddho nu cakasti sadhuh
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
My dear King, talks of the relationship between the master and the servant, the king and the subject and so forth are simply talks about material activities. People interested in material activities which are expounded in the Vedas are intent on performing material sacrifices and placing faith in their material activities. For such people, spiritual advancement is definitely not manifest.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
In this verse, two words are significant — veda-vada and tattva-vada. According to Bhagavad-gita, those who are simply attached to the Vedas and who do not understand the purpose of the Vedas or the Vedanta-sutra are called veda-vada-ratah.
yam imam puspitam vacam
nanyad astiti vadinah
“Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say there is nothing more than this.” (Bg. 2.42-43)
The veda-vada followers of the Vedas are generally inclined to karma-kanda, the performance of sacrifice according to the Vedic injunctions. They are thereby promoted to higher planetary systems. They generally practice the Caturmasya system. Aksayyam ha vai caturmasya-yajinah sukrtam bhavati: one who performs the caturmasya-yajña becomes pious. By becoming pious, one may be promoted to the higher planetary systems (urdhvam gacchanti sattva-sthah). Some of the followers of the Vedas are attached to karma-kanda, the fruitive activities of the Vedas, in order to be promoted to a higher standard of life. Others argue that this is not the purpose of the Vedas. Tad yathaiveha karma jitah lokah ksiyate evam evam utra punya jitah lokah ksiyate. In this world someone may become very highly elevated by taking birth in an aristocratic family, by being well educated, beautiful or very rich. These are the gifts for pious activities enacted in the past life. However, these will be finished when the stock of pious activity is finished. If we become attached to pious activities, we may get these various worldly facilities in the next life and may take birth in the heavenly planets. But all this will eventually be finished. Ksine punye martya-lokam visanti (Bg. 9.21): when the stock of pious activity is finished, one again has to come to this martya-loka. According to the Vedic injunctions, the performance of pious activity is not really the objective of the Vedas. The objective of the Vedas is explained in Bhagavad-gita. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah: the objective of the Vedas is to understand Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who are veda-vadis are not actually advanced in knowledge, and those who are followers of jñana-kanda (Brahman understanding) are also not perfect. However, when one comes to the platform of upasana and accepts the worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he becomes perfect (aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param). In the Vedas the worship of different demigods and the performance of sacrifice are certainly, mentioned, but such worship is inferior because the worshipers do not know that the ultimate goal is Visnu (na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum). When one comes to the platform of visnor aradhanam, or bhakti-yoga, one has attained the perfection of life. Otherwise, as indicated in Bhagavad-gita, one is not a tattva-vadi but a veda-vadi, a blind follower of the Vedic injunctions. A veda-vadi cannot be purified from material contamination unless he becomes a tattva-vadi, that is, one who knows tattva, the Absolute Truth. Tattva is also experienced in three features — brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate. Even after coming to the platform of understanding tattva, one must worship Bhagavan, Visnu and His expansions, or one is not yet perfect. Bahunam janmanam ante jñanavan mam prapadyate: after many births, one who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Krsna. The conclusion is that unintelligent men with a poor fund of knowledge cannot understand Bhagavan, Brahman or Paramatma, but after studying the Vedas and attaining the understanding of the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is supposed to be on the platform of perfect knowledge.