शश्वद्भयेन मृतकेन धुरं वहाम: ।
हित्वा तदात्मनि सुखं त्वदनीहलभ्यं
क्लिश्यामहेऽतिकृपणास्तव माययेह ॥ २८ ॥
śaśvad-bhayena mṛtakena dhuraṁ vahāmaḥ
hitvā tad ātmani sukhaṁ tvad-anīha-labhyaṁ
kliśyāmahe ’ti-kṛpaṇās tava māyayeha
svapnāyitam — like a dream; nṛpa — of kings; sukham — the happiness; para-tantram — conditional; īśa — O Lord; śaśvat — perpetually; bhayena — full of fear; mṛtakena — with this corpse; dhuram — burden; vahāmaḥ — we carry; hitvā — rejecting; tat — that; ātmani — within the self; sukham — happiness; tvat — done for You; anīha — by selfless works; labhyam — to be obtained; kliśyāmahe — we suffer; ati — extremely; kṛpaṇāḥ — wretched; tava — Your; māyayā — with the illusory energy; iha — in this world.
O Lord, with this corpselike body, always full of fear, we bear the burden of the relative happiness of kings, which is just like a dream. Thus we have rejected the real happiness of the soul, which comes by rendering selfless service to You. Being so very wretched, we simply suffer in this life under the spell of Your illusory energy.
After expressing their doubts in the previous verse, the kings herein admit that actually they are suffering because of their own foolishness, having given up the eternal happiness of the soul in exchange for the temporary, conditional happiness of a so-called kingly position. Most people make a similar mistake, desiring wealth, power, prestige, aristocratic family and so on, in exchange for their own soul. The kings admit that they have fallen under the spell of the Lord’s illusory energy and have mistaken the tremendous anxiety of political leadership for happiness.