viddhi mam amrtodbhavam
naranam ca naradhipam
Word for word:
uccaihsravasam — Uccaihsrava; asvanam — among horses; viddhi — know; mam — Me; amrta-udbhavam — produced from the churning of the ocean; airavatam — Airavata; gaja-indranam — of lordly elephants; naranam — among human beings; ca — and; nara-adhipam — the king.
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Of horses know Me to be Uccaihsrava, produced during the churning of the ocean for nectar. Of lordly elephants I am Airavata, and among men I am the monarch.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
The devotee demigods and the demons (asuras) once took part in churning the sea. From this churning, nectar and poison were produced, and Lord Siva drank the poison. From the nectar were produced many entities, of which there was a horse named Uccaihsrava. Another animal produced from the nectar was an elephant named Airavata. Because these two animals were produced from nectar, they have special signiﬁcance, and they are representatives of Krishna.
Amongst the human beings, the king is the representative of Krishna because Krishna is the maintainer of the universe, and the kings, who are appointed on account of their godly qualiﬁcations, are maintainers of their kingdoms. Kings like Maharaja Yudhisthira, Maharaja Pariksit and Lord Rama were all highly righteous kings who always thought of the citizens’ welfare. In Vedic literature, the king is considered to be the representative of God. In this age, however, with the corruption of the principles of religion, monarchy decayed and is now ﬁnally abolished. It is to be understood that in the past, however, people were more happy under righteous kings.