“There is no work that affects Me; nor do I aspire for the fruits of action. One who understands this truth about Me also does not become entangled in the fruitive reactions of work.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.14)
न मां कर्माणि लिम्पन्ति
न मे कर्म-फले स्पृहा
इति मां यो ऽभिजानाति
कर्मभिर् न स बध्यते
na māṁ karmāṇi limpanti
na me karma-phale spṛhā
iti māṁ yo ‘bhijānāti
karmabhir na sa badhyate
As the acharyas explain, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is never alone. Although He is atmarama and satisfied in Himself, there are associates close by. This is true both in the spiritual realm of Vaikuntha and also in the analogous dealings in the material world, during the period for Divine descents known as avataras.
As Krishna explains in Bhagavad-gita, there is no work that binds Him. Though He may be married in an official ceremony to Rukmini Devi, He is not bound by duty. It is not imperative on Him to lift the heavy Govardhana Hill for the rescue of the people of Vrindavana.
He is not forced into the rasa-lila, the dance with the gopis under the bright moon of autumn. He takes pleasure in this enjoyment because it is in the nature of pleasure to have associates. This is one of the reasons given for the expansions of the Almighty, known as amshas.
ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूतः सनातनः।
मनःषष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृतिस्थानि कर्षति।।
mamaivāṃśo jīvaloke jīvabhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ।
manaḥṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛtisthāni karṣati।।
“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.7)
As a living entity I am part and parcel of the Supreme. I am like a sample of God; equal in quality but vastly inferior in the complete comparison. I live through the various changes to the body. From boyhood to youth to old age, I am the same person inside.
देहिनो ऽस्मिन् यथा देहे
कौमारं यौवनं जरा
धीरस् तत्र न मुह्यति
dehino ‘smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.13)
The Supreme Lord is similarly unchanged despite the shifting visuals in the manifest form. The difference is that He is never subject to the rules of karma, whereas I am forced to enjoy or suffer based on my actions. I have to intentionally choose a path that will bring liberation. Dharma is an option for me, whereas Krishna is the embodiment of dharma.
I am vulnerable to the illusory energy known as maya. I mistake a snake for a rope and vice versa. I fall prey to sadness and despondency based on how others treat me, even though I will not maintain their association for long. I hope and pray for a better birth in the future, but for God there is never such concern. He is always in the superior position.
Bhagavan has associates and enjoys with them for His benefit and theirs. He is never affected by the work, since He is originally responsible for the creation of the universes. If I engage in strenuous activity to set up an establishment, I likely will suffer or enjoy as a result. Even if I wash my hands completely of the affair, there is still the impact to my psyche based on the period of engagement.
Vishnu creates, maintains and annihilates the universes so effortlessly that it is almost like He doesn’t notice. He is lying down in rest, and with every cycle of exhaling and inhaling, everything happens that we consider amazing. A brief moment for Him is billions of years in our human estimation.
I am thankful that He prefers to enjoy with others, for since He is unlimited there is never a quota in terms of associates. Though He already has the best eternal consort in the goddess of fortune, He is open to accepting my service. Though He has the best brothers and therefore never is in need of companionship, He will always remain my well-wishing friend.
He is the best companion in that regard, and I can spend the rest of my time thanking Him for the attention. I appreciate His causeless mercy through activities that keep me connected to Him in consciousness, such as with the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Never with quota to fill,
Room for more associates still.
So that eligible am I,
If fervently to try.
The devotional way,
Where faithfully to pray.
Then companion of mine,
Inside and outside to find.