dhÄrayiá¹£yati te vegaá¹
rudras tv ÄtmÄ ÅarÄ«riá¹Äm
yasminn otam idaá¹ protaá¹
viÅvaá¹ ÅÄá¹Ä«va tantuá¹£u
dhÄrayiá¹£yati - will sustain; te - your; vegam - force of the waves; rudraá¸¥ - Lord Åiva; tu - indeed; ÄtmÄ - the Supersoul; ÅarÄ«riá¹Äm - of all embodied souls; yasmin - in whom; otam - is situated in its longitude; idam - this whole universe; protam - latitude; viÅvam - the whole universe; ÅÄá¹Ä« - a cloth; iva - as; tantuá¹£u - in threads.
The water of the Ganges is supposed to rest on the head of Lord Åiva. Lord Åiva is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who sustains the entire universe by different potencies. Lord Åiva is described in the Brahma-saá¹hitÄ (5.45):
ká¹£Ä«raá¹ yathÄ dadhi vikÄra-viÅeá¹£a-yogÄt
saÃ±jÄyate na hi tataá¸¥ pá¹thag asti hetoá¸¥
yaá¸¥ ÅambhutÄm api tathÄ samupaiti kÄryÄd
govindam Ädi-puruá¹£aá¹ tam ahaá¹ bhajÄmi
âMilk changes into yogurt when mixed with a yogurt culture, but actually yogurt is constitutionally nothing but milk. Similarly, Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, assumes the form of Lord Åiva for the special purpose of material transactions. I offer my obeisances at Lord Govindaâs lotus feet.â Lord Åiva is the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the same sense that yogurt is also milk although at the same time it is not milk. For the maintenance of the material world there are three incarnations â BrahmÄ, Viá¹£á¹u and MaheÅvara (Lord Åiva). Lord Åiva is Viá¹£á¹u in an incarnation for the mode of ignorance. The material world exists predominantly in the mode of ignorance. Therefore Lord Åiva is compared here to the longitude and latitude of the entire universe, which resembles a cloth woven of threads extending for both its length and breadth.