garudo bhaksyam ipsitam
prasahya ksudhito ’harat
In that very lake Garuda had once desired to eat a fish fish being, after all, his normal food. Although forbidden by the sage Saubhari, who was meditating there within the water, Garuda took courage and, feeling hungry, seized the fish.
Sukadeva Gosvami is now explaining why Garuda could not approach the lake in the Yamuna River. It is the nature of birds to eat fish, and thus, by the arrangement of the Lord, the great bird Garuda does not commit any offense by nourishing himself with fish. On the other hand, Saubhari Muni’s forbidding a much greater personality to eat his normal food did constitute an offense. According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Saubhari committed two offenses: first, he dared to give an order to a supremely exalted soul like Garuda, and second, he obstructed Garuda from satisfying his desire.