māsi māsīha yo baliḥ
nāgāḥ parvaṇi parvaṇi
Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī has given an alternate explanation of this verse. Upahāryaiḥ may also be translated as “by those who are to be eaten,” and sarpa-janaiḥ as “those human beings who were dominated by or who belonged to the serpent race.” According to this reading, a group of human beings had fallen under the control of the serpents and were prone to be eaten by them. To avoid this, the human beings would make a monthly offering to the serpents, who in turn would offer a portion of that offering to Garuḍa so that he would not eat them. The particular translation given above is based on the commentary of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī and the translation by Śrīla Prabhupāda in his Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In any case, all the ācāryas agree that the serpents purchased protection from Garuḍa.