ye cānye sātvatarṣabhāḥ
api svasty āsate sarve
api smaranti kuśalam
tathā eva—similarly; anucarāḥ—constant companions; śaureḥ—of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa such as; śrutadeva—Śrutadeva; uddhava-ādayaḥ—Uddhava and others; sunanda—Sunanda; nanda—Nanda; śīrṣaṇyāḥ—other leaders; ye—all of them; ca—and; anye—others; sātvata—liberated souls; ṛṣabhāḥ—the best men; api—if; svasti—doing well; āsate—are; sarve—all of them; rāma—Balarāma; kṛṣṇa—Lord Kṛṣṇa; bhuja-āśrayāḥ—under the protection of; api—if also; smaranti—do remember; kuśalam—welfare; asmākam—about ourselves; baddha-sauhṛdāḥ—bound by eternal friendship.
Also, Śrutadeva, Uddhava and others, Nanda, Sunanda and other leaders of liberated souls who are constant companions of the Lord are protected by Lord Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa. Are they all doing well in their respective functions? Do they, who are all eternally bound in friendship with us, remember our welfare?
The constant companions of Lord Kṛṣṇa, such as Uddhava, are all liberated souls, and they descended along with Lord Kṛṣṇa to this material world to fulfill the mission of the Lord. The Pāṇḍavas are also liberated souls who descended along with Lord Kṛṣṇa to serve Him in His transcendental pastimes on this earth. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (4.8), the Lord and His eternal associates, who are also liberated souls like the Lord, come down on this earth at certain intervals. The Lord remembers them all, but His associates, although liberated souls, forget due to their being taṭasthā śakti, or marginal potency of the Lord. That is the difference between the viṣṇu-tattva and jīva-tattva. The jīva-tattvas are infinitesimal potential particles of the Lord, and therefore they require the protection of the Lord at all times. And to the eternal servitors of the Lord, the Lord is pleased to give all protection at all times. The liberated souls never, therefore, think themselves as free as the Lord or as powerful as the Lord, but they always seek the protection of the Lord in all circumstances, both in the material world and in the spiritual world. This dependence of the liberated soul is constitutional, for the liberated souls are like sparks of a fire that are able to exhibit the glow of fire along with the fire and not independently. Independently the glow of the sparks is extinguished, although the quality of fire or the glowing is there. Thus those who give up the protection of the Lord and become so-called lords themselves, out of spiritual ignorance, come back again to this material world, even after prolonged tapasya of the severest type. That is the verdict of all Vedic literature.
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