tvaṁ karmaṇāṁ maṅgala maṅgalānāṁ
kartuḥ sva-lokaṁ tanuṣe svaḥ paraṁ vā
amaṅgalānāṁ ca tamisram ulbaṇaṁ
viparyayaḥ kena tad eva kasyacit
tvam—Your Lordship; karmaṇām—of the prescribed duties; maṅgala—O most auspicious; maṅgalānām—of the auspicious; kartuḥ—of the performer; sva-lokam—respective higher planetary systems; tanuṣe—expand; svaḥ—heavenly planets; param—transcendental world; vā—or; amaṅgalānām—of the inauspicious; ca—and; tamisram—the name of a particular hell; ulbaṇam—ghastly; viparyayaḥ—the opposite; kena—why; tat eva—certainly that; kasyacit—for someone.
O most auspicious lord, you have ordained the heavenly planets, the spiritual Vaikuṇṭha planets and the impersonal Brahman sphere as the respective destinations of the performers of auspicious activities. Similarly, for others, who are miscreants, you have destined different kinds of hells which are horrible and ghastly. Yet sometimes it is found that their destinations are just the opposite. It is very difficult to ascertain the cause of this.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is called the supreme will. It is by the supreme will that everything is happening. It is said, therefore, that not a blade of grass moves without the supreme will. Generally it is prescribed that performers of pious activities are promoted to the higher planetary systems, devotees are promoted to the Vaikuṇṭhas, or spiritual worlds, and impersonal speculators are promoted to the impersonal Brahman effulgence; but it sometimes so happens that a miscreant like Ajāmila is immediately promoted to the Vaikuṇṭhaloka simply by chanting the name of Nārāyaṇa. Although when Ajāmila uttered this vibration he intended to call his son Nārāyaṇa, Lord Nārāyaṇa took it seriously and immediately gave him promotion to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, despite his background, which was full of sinful activities. Similarly King Dakṣa was always engaged in the pious activities of performing sacrifices, yet simply because of creating a little misunderstanding with Lord Śiva, he was severely taken to task. The conclusion is, therefore, that the supreme will is the ultimate judgment; no one can argue upon this. A pure devotee therefore submits in all circumstances to the supreme will of the Lord, accepting it as all-auspicious.
The purport of this verse is that when a devotee is in a calamitous condition he takes it as a benediction of the Supreme Lord and takes responsibility himself for his past misdeeds. In such a condition, he offers still more devotional service and is not disturbed. One who lives in such a disposition of mind, engaged in devotional service, is the most eligible candidate for promotion to the spiritual world. In other words, such a devotee’s claim for promotion to the spiritual world is assured in all circumstances.
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