naivātmā na paraś cāpi
kartā syāt sukha-duḥkhayoḥ
kartāraṁ manyate ’trājña
ātmānaṁ param eva ca
na—not; eva—indeed; ātmā—the spirit soul; na—nor; paraḥ—another (friend or enemy); ca—also; api—indeed; kartā—the doer; syāt—can be; sukha-duḥkhayoḥ—of happiness and distress; kartāram—the doer; manyate—considers; atra—in this connection; ajñaḥ—a person not aware of the real fact; ātmānam—himself; param—another; eva—indeed; ca—also.
In this material world, neither the living entity himself nor others [friends and enemies] are the cause of material happiness and distress. But because of gross ignorance, the living entity thinks that he and others are the cause.
In this verse the word ajña is very significant. In the material world, all living entities are ajña, ignorant, in different degrees. This ignorance continues very strongly in the mode of ignorance presented by material nature. One must therefore promote himself to the stage of goodness through his character and behavior and then gradually come to the transcendental platform, or adhokṣaja platform, in which he realizes both his position and the position of others. Everything is done under the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The process by which the results of action are ordained is called niyatam, always working.
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