जनसङ्ग्रह इत्यूचु: स्मयन्तस्तं जगद्गुरुम् ॥ १५ ॥
jana-saṅgraha ity ūcuḥ
smayantas taṁ jagad-gurum
ciram — for some time; vimṛśya — thinking; munayaḥ — the sages; īśvarasya — of the supreme controller; īśitavyatām — the status of being controlled; jana-saṅgrahaḥ — the enlightenment of the people in general; iti — thus (concluding); ūcuḥ — they said; smayantaḥ — smiling; tam — to Him; jagat — of the universe; gurum — the spiritual master.
For some time the sages pondered the Supreme Lord’s behavior, which resembled that of a subordinate living being. They concluded that He was acting this way to instruct the people in general. Thus they smiled and spoke to Him, the spiritual master of the universe.
Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī explains the word īśitavyatā as referring to one’s not being a controller, or in other words, to being under the law of karma, obliged to work and experience the results of one’s work. While addressing the sages, Lord Kṛṣṇa accepted the role of a subordinate living being to emphasize the importance of hearing and serving saintly Vaiṣṇavas. The Personality of Godhead is also the supreme teacher of spiritual surrender.