TEXT 12
visesa-buddher vivaram manak ca
pasyama yan na vyavaharato ’nyat
ka isvaras tatra kim isitavyam
tathapi rajan karavama kim te
SYNONYMS
visesa-buddheh—of the conception of the distinction between master and servant; vivaram—the scope; manak—a little; ca—also; pasyamah—I see; yat—which; na—not; vyavaharatah—than the temporary usage or convention; anyat—other; kah—who; isvarah—the master; tatra—in this; kim—who; isitavyam—is to be controlled; tathapi—nevertheless; rajan—O King (if you still think that you are master and I am servant); karavama—I may do; kim—what; te—for you.
TRANSLATION
My dear King, if you still think that you are the King and that I am your servant, you should order me, and I should follow your order. I can then say that this differentiation is temporary, and it expands only from usage or convention. I do not see any other cause. In that case, who is the master, and who is the servant? Everyone is being forced by the laws of material nature; therefore no one is master, and no one is servant. Nonetheless, if you think that you are the master and that I am the servant, I shall accept this. Please order me. What can I do for you?
PURPORT
It is said in Srimad-Bhagavatam, aham mameti: [SB 5.5.8] One thinks, “I am this body, and in this bodily relationship he is my master, he is my servant, she is my wife, and he is my son.” All these conceptions are temporary due to the inevitable change of body and the arrangement of material nature. We are gathered together like straws floating in the waves of an ocean, straws that are inevitably separated by the laws of the waves. In this material world, everyone is floating on the waves of the ocean of nescience. As described by Bhaktivinoda Thakura:
(miche) mayara vase, yaccha bhese’,
khaccha habudubu, bhai
(jiva) krsna-dasa, ei visvasa,
karle ta’ ara duhkha nai
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura states that all men and women are floating like straws on the waves of material nature. If they come to the understanding that they are the eternal servants of Krsna, they will put an end to this floating condition. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (3.37): kama esa krodha esa rajo-guna-samudbhavah. Due to the mode of passion, we desire many things, and according to our desire or anxiety and according to the order of the Supreme Lord, material nature gives us a certain type of body. For some time we play as master or servant, as actors play on the stage under someone else’s direction. While we are in the human form, we should put an end to this nonsensical stage performance. We should come to our original constitutional position, known as Krsna consciousness. At the present moment, the real master is material nature. Daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya (Bg. 7.14). Under the spell of material nature, we are becoming servants and masters, but if we agree to be controlled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His eternal servants, this temporary condition ceases to exist.

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