समूल इष्टो व्यवहारमार्ग: ॥ २१ ॥
bhartur gantur bhavataś cānumanye
samūla iṣṭo vyavahāra-mārgaḥ
dṛṣṭaḥ — it is experienced by everyone; śramaḥ — fatigue; karmataḥ — from acting in some way; ātmanaḥ — of the soul; vai — indeed; bhartuḥ — of one who is carrying the palanquin; gantuḥ — of one who is moving; bhavataḥ — of yourself; ca — and; anumanye — I guess like that; yathā — as much as; asatā — with something that is not an actual fact; uda — of water; ānayana-ādi — of the bringing and other such tasks; abhāvāt — from the absence; sa-mūlaḥ — based on evidence; iṣṭaḥ — respected; vyavahāra-mārgaḥ — phenomenon.
You have said, “I am not fatigued from labor.” Although the soul is different from the body, there is fatigue because of bodily labor, and it appears to be the fatigue of the soul. When you are carrying the palanquin, there is certainly labor for the soul. This is my conjecture. You have also said that the external behavior exhibited between the master and the servant is not factual, but although in the phenomenal world it is not factual, the products of the phenomenal world can actually affect things. That is visible and experienced. As such, even though material activities are impermanent, they cannot be said to be untrue.
This is a discussion on impersonal Māyāvāda philosophy and the practical philosophy of Vaiṣṇavas. The Māyāvāda philosophy explains this phenomenal world to be false, but Vaiṣṇava philosophers do not agree. They know that the phenomenal world is a temporary manifestation but it is not false. A dream that we see at night is certainly false, but a horrible dream certainly affects the person seeing it. The soul’s fatigue is not factual, but as long as one is immersed in the illusory bodily conception, one is affected by such false dreams. When dreaming, it is not possible to avoid the actual facts, and the conditioned soul is forced to suffer due to his dream. A waterpot is made of earth and is temporary. Actually there is no waterpot; there is simply earth. However, as long as the waterpot can contain water, we can use it in that way. It cannot be said to be absolutely false.