बिभर्षि सत्त्वं खलनिग्रहाय च ।
स्वलीलया वेदपथं सनातनं
वर्णाश्रमात्मा पुरुष: परो भवान् ॥ १८ ॥
bibharṣi sattvaṁ khala-nigrahāya ca
sva-līlayā veda-pathaṁ sanātanaṁ
varṇāśramātmā puruṣaḥ paro bhavān
atha api — nonetheless; kāle — at the correct time; sva-jana — of Your devotees; abhiguptaye — for the protection; bibharṣi — You assume; sattvam — the mode of goodness; khala — of the wicked; nigrahāya — for the punishment; ca — and; sva — Your; līlayā — by the pastimes; veda-patham — the path of the Vedas; sanātanam — eternal; varṇa-āśrama — of the divine system of occupational and spiritual divisions of society; ātmā — the Soul; puruṣaḥ — the Personality of Godhead; paraḥ — Supreme; bhavān — Your good self.
Nonetheless, at suitable times You assume the pure mode of goodness to protect Your devotees and punish the wicked. Thus You, the Soul of the varṇāśrama social order, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, maintain the eternal path of the Vedas by enjoying Your pleasure pastimes.
This verse describes the Lord’s enlightening people in general (jana-saṅgraha) and His imitation of worldly behavior. Because the Personality of Godhead remains always perfect, the body He manifests when He comes to this world is not touched by material goodness; rather, it is a manifestation of the pure goodness known as viśuddha-sattva, the same spiritual substance that constitutes His original form.