नाग्नेर्हि तापो न हिमस्य तत् स्यात्
क्रुध्येत कस्मै न परस्य द्वन्द्वम् ॥ ५५ ॥
kim ātmanas tatra tad-ātmako ’sau
nāgner hi tāpo na himasya tat syāt
krudhyeta kasmai na parasya dvandvam
kālaḥ — time; tu — but; hetuḥ — the cause; sukha-duḥkhayoḥ — of happiness and distress; cet — if; kim — what; ātmanaḥ — for the soul; tatra — in that idea; tat-ātmakaḥ — based on time; asau — the soul; na — not; agneḥ — from fire; hi — indeed; tāpaḥ — burning; na — not; himasya — of snow; tat — that; syāt — becomes; krudhyeta — should become angry; kasmai — at whom; na — there is not; parasya — for the transcendental soul; dvandvam — duality.
If we accept time as the cause of happiness and distress, that experience still cannot apply to the spirit soul, since time is a manifestation of the Lord’s spiritual potency and the living entities are also expansions of the Lord’s spiritual potency manifesting through time. Certainly a fire does not burn its own flames or sparks, nor does the cold harm its own snowflakes or hail. In fact, the spirit soul is transcendental and beyond the experience of material happiness and distress. At whom, therefore, should one become angry?
The material body is dull matter and does not experience happiness, distress or anything else. Because the spirit soul is completely transcendental, he should fix his consciousness on the transcendental Lord, who is beyond material happiness and distress. It is only when transcendental consciousness falsely identifies with dull matter that the living entity imagines he is enjoying and suffering in the material world. This illusory identification of consciousness with matter is called false ego and is the cause of material existence.