भूभारक्षत्रक्षपण अवतीर्णौ तथात्थ ह ॥ १८ ॥
avatīrṇau tathāttha ha
yuvām — You two; na — not; naḥ — our; sutau — sons; sākṣāt — directly; pradhāna-puruṣa — of nature and its creator (Mahā-Viṣṇu); īśvarau — the supreme controllers; bhū — of the earth; bhāra — the burden; kṣatra — royalty; kṣapaṇe — for eradicating; avatīrṇau — descended; tathā — so; āttha — You have said; ha — indeed.
You are not our sons but the very Lords of both material nature and its creator [Mahā-Viṣṇu]. As You Yourself have told us, You have descended to rid the earth of the rulers who are a heavy burden upon her.
According to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī, in this verse Vasudeva offers himself and his wife as excellent examples of those who are materially deluded. Although at the time of His birth in Kaṁsa’s prison Lord Kṛṣṇa told Vasudeva and Devakī that His mission was to rid the earth of unwanted kṣatriyas, still His two parents could not avoid thinking of Him as their helpless son who needed protection from King Kaṁsa. In reality, of course, both Vasudeva and Devakī were participating in the divine pastime of the Lord’s birth under the perfect direction of His internal energy; only out of transcendental humility does Vasudeva criticize himself in this way.