rūpāṇi sthāna ādhatse
tasmai śuklāya te namaḥ
yaḥ—you who; arka—of the sun; indu—of the moon; agni—of Agni, the fire-god; indra—of Indra, the lord of heaven; vāyūnām—of Vāyu, the wind-god; yama—of Yama, the god of punishment; dharma—of Dharma, the god of piety; pracetasām—and of Varuṇa, the god of the waters; rūpāṇi—the forms; sthāne—when necessary; ādhatse—you assume; tasmai—unto Him; śuklāya—unto Lord Viṣṇu; te—unto you; namaḥ—obeisances.
You assume, when necessary, the part of the sun-god; the moon-god; Agni, the god of fire; Indra, the lord of paradise; Vāyu, the wind-god; Yama, the god of punishment; Dharma, the god of piety; and Varuṇa, the god presiding over the waters. All obeisances to you, who are none other than Lord Viṣṇu!
Since the sage Kardama was a brāhmaṇa and Svāyambhuva was a kṣatriya, the sage was not supposed to offer obeisances to the King because socially his position was greater than the King’s. But he offered his obeisances to Svāyambhuva Manu because as Manu, king and emperor, he was the representative of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is always worshipable, regardless of whether one is a brāhmaṇa, a kṣatriya or a śūdra. As the representative of the Supreme Lord, the King deserved respectful obeisances from everyone.
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