शेते समुद्र उपलम्भनमात्र आत्मा ।
नित्यं कदिन्द्रियगणै: कृतविग्रहस्त्वं
त्वत्सेवकैर्नृपपदं विधुतं तमोऽन्धम् ॥ ३५ ॥
śete samudra upalambhana-mātra ātmā
nityaṁ kad-indriya-gaṇaiḥ kṛta-vigrahas tvaṁ
tvat-sevakair nṛpa-padaṁ vidhutaṁ tamo ’ndham
satyam — true; bhayāt — out of fear; iva — as if; guṇebhyaḥ — of the material modes; urukrama — O You who perform transcendental feats; antaḥ — within; śete — You have lain down; samudre — in the ocean; upalambhana-mātraḥ — pure awareness; ātma — the Supreme Soul; nityam — always; kat — bad; indriya-gaṇaiḥ — against all the material senses; kṛta-vigrahaḥ — battling; tvam — You; tvat — Your; sevakaiḥ — by the servants; nṛpa — of a king; padam — the position; vidhutam — rejected; tamaḥ — darkness; andham — blind.
Yes, my Lord Urukrama, You lay down within the ocean as if afraid of the material modes, and thus in pure consciousness You appear within the heart as the Supersoul. You are always battling against the foolish material senses, and indeed even Your servants reject the privilege of royal dominion, which leads to the blindness of ignorance.
In text 12 Lord Kṛṣṇa said, rājabhyo bibhyataḥ su-bhru samudram śaraṇaṁ gatān: “Out of fear of the kings, We took shelter in the ocean.” Here Śrīmatī Rukmiṇī-devī points out that the actual rulers of this world are the guṇas, the material modes of nature, which impel all living beings to act. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī points out that because Lord Kṛṣṇa fears that His devotee will come under the influence of the modes of nature and become entangled in sense gratification, He enters the internal ocean of their hearts, where He remains as the omniscient Supersoul (upalambhana-mātra ātmā). Thus He protects His devotees. The word upalambhana-mātraḥ also indicates that the Lord is the object of meditation for His devotees.
In text 12 Lord Kṛṣṇa also said, balavadbhiḥ kṛta-dveṣān: “We created enmity with the powerful.” Here Śrīmatī Rukmiṇī-devī points out that it is the material senses which are actually powerful in this world. The Supreme Lord has taken up the battle against sense gratification on the part of His devotees, and thus He is constantly trying to help them in their struggle for spiritual purity. When the devotees become free of unwanted material habits, the Lord reveals Himself to them, and then the eternal loving relationship between the Lord and His devotees becomes an irrevocable fact.
In the same verse Kṛṣṇa stated, tyakta-nṛpāsanān: “We renounced the royal throne.” But here Śrīmatī Rukmiṇī-devī points out that the position of political supremacy in this world usually implicates so-called powerful leaders in darkness and blindness. As the saying goes, “Power corrupts.” Thus even the Lord’s loving servants tend to shy away from political intrigue and power politics. The Lord Himself, being completely satisfied in His own spiritual bliss, would hardly be interested in occupying mundane political positions. Thus Śrīmatī Rukmiṇī-devī correctly interprets the Lord’s actions as evidence of His supreme transcendental nature.