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ŚB 11.4.10


त्वां सेवतां सुरकृता बहवोऽन्तराया:
स्वौको विलङ्‍घ्य परमं व्रजतां पदं ते ।
नान्यस्य बर्हिषि बलीन् ददत: स्वभागान्
धत्ते पदं त्वमविता यदि विघ्नमूर्ध्नि ॥ १० ॥


tvāṁ sevatāṁ sura-kṛtā bahavo ’ntarāyāḥ
svauko vilaṅghya paramaṁ vrajatāṁ padaṁ te
nānyasya barhiṣi balīn dadataḥ sva-bhāgān
dhatte padaṁ tvam avitā yadi vighna-mūrdhni


tvām — You; sevatām — for those who are serving; sura-kṛtāḥ — made by the demigods; bahavaḥ — many; antarāyāḥ — disturbances; sva-okaḥ — their own abode (the planets of the demigods); vilaṅghya — crossing beyond; paramam — the supreme; vrajatām — who are going; padam — to the abode; te — Your; na — there are not such; anyasya — for another; barhiṣi — in ritual sacrifices; balīn — offerings; dadataḥ — for one who is giving; sva-bhāgān — the own shares (of the demigods); dhatte — (the devotee) places; padam — his foot; tvam — You; avitā — the protector; yadi — because; vighna — of the disturbance; mūrdhni — upon the head.


The demigods place many obstacles on the path of those who worship You to transcend the temporary abodes of the demigods and reach Your supreme abode. Those who offer the demigods their assigned shares in sacrificial performances encounter no such obstacles. But because You are the direct protector of Your devotee, he is able to step over the head of whatever obstacle the demigods place before him.


The demigods, headed by Kāmadeva, or Cupid, recognizing their offense at the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, Nara-Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi, here point out the insignificant position of the demigods in relation to the Supreme Lord. Just as a farmer must pay a specific percentage of his agricultural profit to the king or political head as tax money, all human beings must offer a percentage of their material wealth to the demigods in sacrifice. In Bhagavad-gītā, however, the Lord explains that the demigods are also His servants and it is He Himself who awards all benedictions, through the agency of the demigods. Mayaiva vihitān hi tān. Although a Vaiṣṇava, or devotee of the Lord, has no need to worship the demigods, the demigods, being proud of their exalted material position, sometimes resent the exclusive devotion of the Vaiṣṇava to the Lord and thus try to cause the devotee to fall down, as described in this verse (sura-kṛtā bahavo ’ntarāyāḥ). But the demigods here point out that Kṛṣṇa is directly the protector of His devotees. Therefore, so-called impediments become stimuli for further spiritual advancement for a sincere devotee.

The demigods here state, “We thought, our dear Lord, that we could disturb Your consciousness by our foolish tricks. But by Your mercy even Your devotees pay little regard to us, so why should You take our foolish behavior seriously?” The word yadi here is used to indicate the certainty that Kṛṣṇa is always the protector of His surrendered devotees. Although there may be many obstacles on the path of the sincere devotee who is preaching the glories of the Lord, such obstacles increase the determination of the devotee. Therefore, according to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, the continuous obstacles presented by the demigods form a kind of ladder or stairway upon which the devotee steadily progresses back to the kingdom of God. A similar verse appears in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.2.33):

tathā na te mādhava tāvakāḥ kvacid
bhraśyanti mārgāt tvayi baddha-sauhṛdāḥ
tvayābhiguptā vicaranti nirbhayā
vināyakānīkapa-mūrdhasu prabho

“O Mādhava, Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord of the goddess of fortune, if devotees completely in love with You sometimes fall from the path of devotion, they do not fall like nondevotees, for You still protect them. Thus they fearlessly traverse the heads of their opponents and continue to progress in devotional service.”