kṣapaṇa-kathāmṛtābdhim avagāhya tapāṁsi jahuḥ
kim uta punaḥ sva-dhāma-vidhutāśaya-kāla-guṇāḥ
parama bhajanti ye padam ajasra-sukhānubhavam
iti — thus; tava — Your; sūrayaḥ — wise saints; tri — of the three (planetary systems of the universe, or the three modes of nature); adhipate — O master; akhila — of all; loka — the worlds; mala — the contamination; kṣapaṇa — which eradicates; kathā — of discussions; amṛta — nectar; abdhim — into the ocean; avagāhya — by diving deeply; tapāṁsi — their troubles; jahuḥ — have given up; kim uta — what to speak; punaḥ — moreover; sva — their own; dhāma — by the power; vidhuta — dispelled; āśaya — of their minds; kāla — and of time; guṇāḥ — the (undesirable) qualities; parama — O supreme one; bhajanti — worship; ye — who; padam — Your true nature; ajasra — uninterrupted; sukha — of happiness; anubhavam — (in which there is) experience.
Therefore, O master of the three worlds, the wise get rid of all misery by diving deep into the nectarean ocean of topics about You, which washes away all the contamination of the universe. Then what to speak of those who, having by spiritual strength rid their minds of bad habits and freed themselves from time, are able to worship Your true nature, O supreme one, finding within it uninterrupted bliss?
According to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, in the previous verse those śrutis whose presentation of the Supreme Truth may seem impersonal clarified their true purpose. Now, in the present verse, those who focus exclusively on the divine Personality of Godhead, who speak of His transcendental pastimes, take their turn in praising Him.
Because all the Vedas declare the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead as the cause of all causes, discriminating persons should take to His worship. By diving into the ocean of His glories, intelligent devotees help dispel the distress of all souls and loosen their own burning attachment to materialistic life. These advancing devotees gradually give up all material attachment and lose any interest they once had in the troublesome austerities of karma, jñāna and yoga.
Beyond these devotees are the sūris, connoisseurs of spiritual truth, who honor the nectarean ocean of the Supreme Lord’s glories by immersing themselves fully within it. These mature devotees of the Supreme Lord achieve unimaginable perfection. The Lord, reciprocating their sincere endeavors, empowers them to realize Him in His personal form. Remembering with rapture the Lord’s intimate pastimes and entourage, they are automatically freed from the last subtle traces of mental contamination and from sensitivity to the unavoidable pains of disease and old age.
Referring to the purifying power of devotional service, the śrutis say, tad yathā puṣkara-palāśa āpo na śliṣyante evam evaṁ-vidi pāpaṁ karma na śliṣyate: “Just as water does not adhere to a lotus leaf, so sinful activities do not adhere to one who knows the truth in this way.” The Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (14.7.28), Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa (184.108.40.206), Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad (4.4.28) and Baudhāyana-dharma-śāstra (220.127.116.11) all concur: na karmaṇā lipyate pāpakena. “One thus avoids becoming tainted by sinful activity.”
The Ṛg Veda (1.154.1) refers to the Supreme Lord’s pastimes as follows: viṣṇor nu kaṁ vīryāṇi pravocaṁ yaḥ pārthivāni vimame rajāṁsi. “Only he may fully enunciate the heroic deeds of Lord Viṣṇu who can count all the particles of dust in the world.” Many śruti-mantras glorify devotional service to the Lord, such as eko vaśī sarva-go ye ’nubhajanti dhīrās/ teṣāṁ sukhaṁ śāśvataṁ netareṣām: “He is the one omnipresent Lord and controller; only those wise souls who worship Him obtain eternal happiness, not anyone else.”
In this connection Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī prays:
tvam iti sarva-manīṣi-janā ratāḥ
tava pada-smaraṇena gata-klamāḥ
“Because all the Vedas describe Your transcendental qualities, all thoughtful persons are attracted to hearing and chanting about Your all-auspicious qualities. Thus by remembering Your lotus feet, they are freed from material distress.”