ajo ’pi sann avyayatma
bhutanam isvaro ’pi san
prakritim svam adhisthaya
"Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all living entities, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form."
This sloka replies three doubts of Arjuna. We will first see the answer to his second question. Sri Krishna emphatically states that He is born with all the greatness He has wherever He is born. Just as fire reduces in the same way sacred materials or unwanted materials, the Lord is same whether He is in Vaikuntam or in this world. Ajopi sann = without being born, avvyayatmapi sann = without death, bhuthanam = in all bodies [of all living and non-living beings], isvara = as commander, api sann = remain. Isa means the art or science of commanding. Iswara means commander. We also at times command some to obey our orders, but that is temporary and subject to so many limitations. The Lord however, commands everyone without exception and at all places and and at all times. This answers the question whether He is born with the same powers and the reply confirms that He is born with full greatness. When Sri Krishna tells that He is not born, is He telling a lie? Arjuna knows where and when He was born and all the actions of Him uptil now. Then why He tells He is not born? The interpretation is that though He is born, He is not born like us or Arjuna, bound by past karma. In Sri Vishnu Sahasranama, Sri Narasimha is addressed as ajaha, as He came out of a pillar. One can take that as a birth or not, as unlike us He was born out of an inanimate object. Similarly He never dies as our deaths are after a karma is over. He departs when He feels He has to return to Vaikuntam. We have to infer that He is born with all His greatness in tact. Here He also tells that He is greater than achit [inanimate objects], baddha [ordinary beings like us], muktha [ those who have already reached Vaikuntam] and nithya [ the ever remaining and serving Garuda, Adisesha and the like]. Achit, that is the objects we see and use are all ever changing and get destroyed. God never changes and so He is greater than these. Baddha or atman like us are not changing, but according to the body it resides, atman have changing pleasures and sorrows. A muktha on the other hand enjoys unlimited pleasures but in the past he was also an atman. Nithya suris like Garuda had no past birth as atman, but they are subject to the commands of the Lord. We can thus see a graded greatness in all these but the Lord has the greatest powers and qualities which none of the others have.