पुरा कल्पापाये स्वकृतमुदरीकृत्य विकृतं
त्वमेवाद्यस्तस्मिन् सलिल उरगेन्द्राधिशयने ।
पुमान्शेषे सिद्धैर्हृदि विमृशिताध्यात्मपदवि:
स एवाद्याक्ष्णोर्य: पथि चरसि भृत्यानवसि न: ॥ ४२ ॥
purā kalpāpāye sva-kṛtam udarī-kṛtya vikṛtaṁ
tvam evādyas tasmin salila uragendrādhiśayane
pumān śeṣe siddhair hṛdi vimṛśitādhyātma-padaviḥ
sa evādyākṣṇor yaḥ pathi carasi bhṛtyān avasi naḥ
devāḥ — the demigods; ūcuḥ — said; purā — formerly; kalpa-apāye — at the devastation of the kalpa; sva-kṛtam — self-produced; udarī-kṛtya — having drawn within Your abdomen; vikṛtam — effect; tvam — You; eva — certainly; ādyaḥ — original; tasmin — in that; salile — water; uraga-indra — on Śeṣa; adhiśayane — on the bed; pumān — personality; śeṣe — taking rest; siddhaiḥ — by the liberated souls (like Sanaka, etc.); hṛdi — in the heart; vimṛśita — meditated on; adhyātma-padaviḥ — the path of philosophical speculation; saḥ — He; eva — certainly; adya — now; akṣṇoḥ — of both eyes; yaḥ — who; pathi — on the path; carasi — You move; bhṛtyān — servants; avasi — protect; naḥ — us.
The demigods said: Dear Lord, formerly, when there was a devastation, You conserved all the different energies of material manifestation. At that time, all the inhabitants of the higher planets, represented by such liberated souls as Sanaka, were meditating on You by philosophical speculation. You are therefore the original person, and You rest in the water of devastation on the bed of the Śeṣa snake. Now, today, You are visible to us, who are all Your servants. Please give us protection.
The devastation indicated in this verse is the partial devastation of the lower planets within the universe when Lord Brahmā goes to sleep. The higher planetary systems, beginning with Maharloka, Janaloka and Tapoloka, are not inundated at the time of this devastation. The Lord is the creator, as indicated in this verse, because the energies of creation are manifested through His body, and after annihilation, He conserves all the energy within His abdomen.
Another significant point in this verse is that the demigods said, “We are all Your servants (bhṛtyān). Give us Your protection.” The demigods depend on the protection of Viṣṇu; they are not independent. Bhagavad-gītā, therefore, condemns the worship of demigods because there is no need of it and clearly states that only those who have lost their sense go asking favors of the demigods. Generally, if anyone has material desires to be fulfilled, he can ask Viṣṇu instead of going to the demigods. Those who worship demigods are not very intelligent. Besides that, the demigods say, “We are Your eternal servants.” So those who are servants, or devotees of the Lord, are not very much concerned with fruitive activities, the performance of prescribed yajñas, or mental speculation. They simply serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead sincerely, with love and faith, performing everything with that loving service, and the Lord gives such devotees direct protection. In Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa says, “Simply surrender unto Me, and I will give you protection from all the reactions of sinful activities.” This material world is so created that one has to act sinfully, knowingly or unknowingly, and unless his life is dedicated to Viṣṇu, he has to suffer all the reactions of sinful activities. But one who surrenders and dedicates his life for the service of the Lord has direct protection from the Lord. He has no fear of suffering from sinful activities, nor does he desire, willingly or unwillingly, to do anything which is sinful.