īhate bhagavān īśo
na hi tatra visajjate
nāvasīdanti ye ’nu tam
īhate—engages in activities of creation, maintenance and annihilation; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa; īśaḥ—the supreme controller; na—not; hi—indeed; tatra—in such activities; visajjate—He becomes entangled; ātma-lābhena—because of His own gain; pūrṇa-arthaḥ—who is self-satisfied; na—not; avasīdanti—are disheartened; ye—persons who; anu—follow; tam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is full in opulence by His own gain, yet He acts as the creator, maintainer and annihilator of this material world. In spite of acting in that way, He is never entangled. Hence devotees who follow in His footsteps are also never entangled.
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (3.9), yajñārthāt karmaṇo ’nyatra loko ’yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ: “work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world.” If we do not act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness we shall be entangled, like silkworms in cocoons. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, appears in order to teach us how to work so that we will not be entangled in this material world. Our real problem is that we are entangled in materialistic activities, and because we are conditioned, our struggle continues through punishment in material existence in one body after another in different forms of life. As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (15.7):
“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.” The living entities are actually minute forms who are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is full in everything, and the small particles of the Lord are also originally qualified like Him, but because of their minute existence, they are infected by material attraction and thus entangled. We must therefore follow the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and then, like Kṛṣṇa, who is never entangled by His material activities of creation, maintenance and annihilation, we will have nothing for which to lament (nāvasīdanti ye ’nu tam). Kṛṣṇa personally gives instructions in Bhagavad-gītā, and anyone who follows these instructions is liberated.
Following Kṛṣṇa’s instructions is possible when one is a devotee, for Kṛṣṇa instructs that one should become a devotee. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru: “Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me.” (Bg. 18.65) Always thinking of Kṛṣṇa means chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, but unless one is an initiated devotee he cannot do this. As soon as one becomes a devotee, he engages in Deity worship (mad-yājī). A devotee’s business is to offer obeisances to the Lord and the spiritual master constantly. This principle is the recognized way to come to the platform of bhakti. As soon as one comes to this platform, he gradually understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and simply by understanding Kṛṣṇa one is liberated from material bondage.
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