By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadasamāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavam mahat-padam punya-yaśo murāreh bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padam param padam padam padam padam yad vipadam na tesām. [SB 10.14.58]
Bhavāmbudhi means this great ocean of nescience, in which we are now fallen and very much struggling for existence. Exactly just like if you are thrown in the ocean, although you may be a very good swimmer, but still the condition is very dangerous… You will have to struggle. You cannot say, “I am a good swimmer. I shall very easily be able to cross over the ocean.” No. That’s not possible. But if you take the shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord (samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavam), then this great ocean of nescience (bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padam) becomes a small spot of water as it is made by the footprint of the calves (vatsa-padam).
Anyone who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Krishna… What are those lotus feet? They are the shelter of the whole material creation (mahat-padam). Mahat-tattva. From mahat–tattva the whole cosmic manifestation has come. Therefore the lotus feet of Krishna means there is also mahat-tattva, many, many mahat-tattvas. Samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavam mahat-padam punya-yaśo murāreh.
Murāri. Krishna’s another name is Murāri.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja, describes what the position of this material world is – yasmāt priyāpriya-yoga-viyoga: simply lamentation. Sometimes we are so-called happy by getting the desirable things, and mostly we are unhappy, associating with undesirable things. So in order to save ourselves from these opposing elements, the best thing is suggested. So ‘ham priyasya suhrdah paradevatāyā līlā-kathās: Let us be engaged always chanting the, or reading the pastimes of the Lord, līlā-kathā. If you read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, then it is full of līlā-kathā, the pastimes of Lord Krishna. So that is the only way to get out of the miserable condition of this material world. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that,trnād api sunīcena taror api sahisnunā amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyah sadā harih [Cc. Ādi 17.31]
Kīrtanīya, this is līlā-kathā. When you read or hear or chant about the pastimes of the Lord, then that is also kīrtana. And if you chant Hare Krishna mantra with instrument, that is also kīrtana. There is no difference. So we must engage in kīrtanīyah sadā harih. Either we should chant Hare Krishna mantra or we should read our books. This is wanted. Then we’ll be safe from māyā. Otherwise, at any time, we’ll be victimized.
[An excerpt from a lecture on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.9.18, delivered in Mayapur on February 25, 1976]