कर्माण्यकर्तुर्ग्रहणाय पुंसाम् ।
नन्वन्यथा कोऽर्हति देहयोगं
परो गुणानामुत कर्मतन्त्रम् ॥ ४४ ॥
karmāṇy akartur grahaṇāya puṁsām
nanv anyathā ko ’rhati deha-yogaṁ
paro guṇānām uta karma-tantram
ajasya — of the unborn; janma — appearance; utpatha-nāśanāya — for the sake of annihilating the upstarts; karmāṇi — works; akartuḥ — of one who has nothing to do; grahaṇāya — to take up; puṁsām — of all persons; nanu anyathā — otherwise; kaḥ — who; arhati — may deserve; deha-yogam — contact of the body; paraḥ — transcendental; guṇānām — of the three modes of nature; uta — what to speak of; karma-tantram — the law of action and reaction.
The appearance of the Lord is manifested for the annihilation of the upstarts. His activities are transcendental and are enacted for the understanding of all persons. Otherwise, since the Lord is transcendental to all material modes, what purpose could He serve by coming to earth?
Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Brahma-saṁhitā 5.1): the form of the Lord is eternal, blissful and all-satisfying. His so-called birth is therefore an appearance only, like the birth of the sun on the horizon. His birth does not, like that of the living entities, take place under the influence of material nature and the bondage of the reactions of past deeds. His works and activities are independent pastimes and are not subject to the reactions of material nature. In Bhagavad-gītā (4.14) it is said:
na me karma-phale spṛhā
iti māṁ yo ’bhijānāti
karmabhir na sa badhyate
The law of karma enacted by the Supreme Lord for the living entities cannot be applicable to Him, nor has the Lord any desire to improve Himself by activities like those of ordinary living beings. Ordinary living beings work for the improvement of their conditional lives. But the Lord is already full of all opulence, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation. Why should He desire improvement? No one can excel Him in any opulence, and therefore the desire for improvement is absolutely useless for Him. One should always discriminate between the activities of the Lord and those of ordinary living beings. Thus one may come to the right conclusion regarding the Lord’s transcendental position. One who can come to the conclusion of the Lord’s transcendence can become a devotee of the Lord and can at once be free from all reactions of past deeds. It is said, karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām: the Lord minimizes or nullifies the reactionary influence of the devotee’s past deeds. (Brahma-saṁhitā 5.54)
The activities of the Lord are to be accepted and relished by all living entities. His activities are to attract the ordinary man towards the Lord. The Lord always acts in favor of the devotees, and therefore ordinary men who are fruitive actors or seekers of salvation may be attracted to the Lord when He acts as protector of the devotees. The fruitive actors can attain their goals by devotional service, and the salvationists can also attain their goal in life by devotional service to the Lord. The devotees do not want the fruitive results of their work, nor do they want any kind of salvation. They relish the glorious superhuman activities of the Lord, such as His lifting Govardhana Hill and His killing the demon Pūtanā in infancy. His activities are enacted to attract all kinds of men — karmīs, jñānīs and bhaktas. Because He is transcendental to all laws of karma, there is no possibility of His accepting a form of māyā as is forced on the ordinary living entities who are bound by the actions and reactions of their own deeds.
The secondary purpose of His appearance is to annihilate the upstart asuras and to stop the nonsense of atheistic propaganda by less intelligent persons. By the Lord’s causeless mercy, the asuras who are killed personally by the Personality of Godhead get salvation. The meaningful appearance of the Lord is always distinct from ordinary birth. Even the pure devotees have no connection with the material body, and certainly the Lord, who appears as He is, in His sac-cid-ānanda form, is not limited by a material form.