bhagavan api visvatma
viditva kamsajam bhayam
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
To protect the Yadus, His personal devotees, from Kamsa’s attack, the Personality of Godhead, Visvatma, the Supreme Soul of everyone, ordered Yoga-maya as follows.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
The words bhagavan api visvatma viditva kamsajam bhayam are commented upon by Srila Sanatana Gosvami. Bhagavan svayam is Krsna (krsnas tu bhagavan svayam). He is Visvatma, the original Supersoul of everyone, because His plenary portion expands as the Supersoul. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (13.3): ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi sarva-ksetresu bharata. Lord Krsna is the ksetra jna, or Supersoul, of all living entities. He is the original source of all expansions of the Personality of Godhead. There are hundreds and thousands of plenary expansions of Visnu, such as Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Vasudeva, but here in this material world, the Visvatma, the Supersoul for all living entities, is Ksirodakasayi Visnu. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (18.61), isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ’rjuna tisthati: “The Supreme Lord is situated in the heart of all living entities, O Arjuna.” Krsna is actually Visvatma by His plenary expansion as visnu-tattva, yet because of His affection for His devotees, He acts as Supersoul to give them directions (sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca).
The affairs of the Supersoul pertain to Ksirodakasayi Visnu, but Krsna took compassion on Devaki, His devotee, because He understood her fear of Kamsa’s persecution. A pure devotee is always fearful of material existence. No one knows what will happen next, for one may have to change his body at any moment (tatha dehantara-praptih). Knowing this fact, a pure devotee acts in such a way that he will not have his life spoiled by being obliged to accept another body and undergo the tribulations of material existence. This is bhayam, or fear. Bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syat (Bhag. 11.2.37). This fear is due to material existence. Properly speaking, everyone should always be alert and fearful of material existence, but although everyone is prone to be affected by the ignorance of material existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is always alert to the protection of His devotees. Krsna is so kind and affectionate toward His devotees that He helps them by giving them the intelligence by which to exist in this material world without forgetting Him even for a moment. The Lord says:
aham ajnana-jam tamah
“Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.” (Bg. 10.11)
The word yoga means “link.” Any system of yoga is an attempt to reconnect our broken relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are different types of yoga, of which bhakti-yoga is the best. In other yoga systems, one must undergo various processes before attaining perfection, but bhakti-yoga is direct. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (6.47):
yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
“Of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.” For the bhakti-yogi, a human body is guaranteed in his next existence, as stated by Lord Krsna (sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto ’bhijayate). Yoga-maya is the spiritual potency of the Lord. Out of affection for His devotees, the Lord always stays in spiritual touch with them, although otherwise His Maya potency is so strong that she bewilders even exalted demigods like Brahma. Therefore the Lord’s potency is called Yoga-maya. Since the Lord is Visvatma, He immediately ordered Yoga-maya to give protection to Devaki.