plavānāṁ srotaso yathā
na—not; ekatra—in one place; priya-saṁvāsaḥ—living together with dear friends and relatives; suhṛdām—of friends; citra-karmaṇām—of all of us who have had varieties of reactions to our past karma; oghena—by the force; vyūhyamānānām—carried away; plavānām—of sticks and other objects floating in the water; srotasaḥ—of the waves; yathā—as.
Many planks and sticks, unable to stay together, are carried away by the force of a river’s waves. Similarly, although we are intimately related with friends and family members, we are unable to stay together because of our varied past deeds and the waves of time.
Vasudeva was lamenting because he and Nanda Mahārāja could not live together. Yet how could they live together? Vasudeva warns that all of us, even if intimately related, are carried away by the waves of time according to the results of past karma.
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