कालकर्मस्वभावस्थो जीवोऽजीवमजीवयत् ॥ ३४ ॥
tad aṇḍam udake śayam
jīvo ’jīvam ajīvayat
varṣa-pūga — many years; sahasra-ante — of thousands of years; tat — that; aṇḍam — the universal globe; udake — in the causal water; śayam — being drowned; kāla — eternal time; karma — action; svabhāva-sthaḥ — according to the modes of nature; jīvaḥ — the Lord of the living beings; ajīvam — nonanimated; ajīvayat — caused to be animated.
Thus all the universes remained thousands of aeons within the water [the Causal Ocean], and the Lord of living beings, entering in each of them, caused them to be fully animated.
The Lord is described here as the jīva because He is the leader of all other jīvas (living entities). In the Vedas He is described as the nitya, the leader of all other nityas. The Lord’s relation with the living entities is like that of the father with the sons. The sons and the father are qualitatively equal, but the father is never the son, nor is the son ever the father who begets. So, as described above, the Lord as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu or Hiraṇyagarbha Supersoul enters into each and every universe and causes it to be animated by begetting the living entities within the womb of the material nature, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (14.3). After each annihilation of the material creation, all the living entities are merged within the body of the Lord, and after creation they are again impregnated within the material energy. In material existence, therefore, the material energy is seemingly the mother of the living entities, and the Lord is the father. When, however, the animation takes place, the living entities revive their own natural activities under the spell of time and energy, and thus the varieties of living beings are manifested. The Lord, therefore, is ultimately the cause of all animation in the material world.