TEXT 12
viśeṣa-buddher vivaraṁ manāk ca
paśyāma yan na vyavahārato ’nyat
ka īśvaras tatra kim īśitavyaṁ
tathāpi rājan karavāma kiṁ te
SYNONYMS
viśeṣa-buddheḥ—of the conception of the distinction between master and servant; vivaram—the scope; manāk—a little; ca—also; paśyāmaḥ—I see; yat—which; na—not; vyavahārataḥ—than the temporary usage or convention; anyat—other; kaḥ—who; īśvaraḥ—the master; tatra—in this; kim—who; īśitavyam—is to be controlled; tathāpi—nevertheless; rājan—O King (if you still think that you are master and I am servant); karavāma—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 Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, ahaṁ 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 Ṭhākura:
(miche) māyāra vaśe, yāccha bhese’,
khāccha hābuḍubu, bhāi
(jīva) kṛṣṇa-dāsa, ei viśvāsa,
karle ta’ āra duḥkha nāi
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura 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 Kṛṣṇa, they will put an end to this floating condition. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (3.37): kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ. 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 Kṛṣṇa consciousness. At the present moment, the real master is material nature. Daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī mama māyā duratyayā (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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