tasmin kūṭe ’hite naṣṭe
viṭapā iva śuṣyanti
tasmin—when He; kūṭe—the most deceitful; ahite—enemy; naṣṭe—is finished; kṛtta-mūle—having its roots cut off; vanas-patau—a tree; viṭapāḥ—the branches and leaves; iva—like; śuṣyanti—dry up; viṣṇu-prāṇāḥ—whose life is Lord Viṣṇu; diva-okasaḥ—the demigods.
When the root of a tree is cut and the tree falls down, its branches and twigs automatically dry up. Similarly, when I have killed this diplomatic Viṣṇu, the demigods, for whom Lord Viṣṇu is the life and soul, will lose the source of their life and wither away.
The difference between the demigods and the demons is here explained. The demigods always follow the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas the demons simply plan to disturb or kill Him. Nevertheless, sometimes the demons very much appreciate the full dependence of the demigods upon the mercy of the Lord. This is indirect glorification of the demigods by the demons.
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