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tavavataro ’yam adhoksajeha
bhuvo bharanam uru-bhara-janmanam
camu-patinam abhavaya deva
You descend into this world, O transcendent Lord, to destroy the warlords who burden the earth and create many terrible disturbances. O Lord, you simultaneously act for the welfare of those who faithfully serve Your lotus feet.
This verse utilizes an attractive poetic device. Lord Krsna’s descent into the world is said to be for the abhava, literally “nonexistence” or “destruction,” of the demoniac warlords, and simultaneously for the bhava, or “existence, prosperity,” of those who faithfully serve the Lord’s lotus feet.
True existence, indicated here by the word bhava, is sac-cid-ananda, eternal and full of bliss and knowledge. To an uninformed observer, it may appear that Sri Krsna is simply rewarding His followers and punishing His enemies the way any ordinary person might do. This specific doubt about the Lord is raised extensively in the Sixth Canto in connection with Krsna’s taking the side of the faithful demigods against the faithless demons in a particular cosmic war. In that canto the Vaisnava authorities clearly explain that in fact Lord Krsna is the father and Lord of all living beings and that all His activities are therefore meant for the benefit of all existence. Lord Krsna does not really cause the nonexistence of anyone; rather He curbs the foolish, destructive, material ways of those who defy the laws of God. These laws are created to ensure the prosperity, harmony and happiness of the entire creation, and their violation is an unjustifiable disturbance.
Certainly Indra hoped that Lord Krsna would count him among the devotees and not the demons, although considering Indra’s actions one might doubt where his loyalties actually lay. Indra was aware of this possible doubt and thus, as we find in the next verse, he tried his best to surrender to the Supreme Lord.