Smart Quote of the Day, March 1, 2021

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"…the Lord makes distinctions according to the mentality of the living being, but otherwise He is equal to everyone. Like a desire tree, the Lord fulfills the desires of one who takes shelter of Him, but one who does not take such shelter is distinct from the surrendered soul."

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This is from the Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.23.8

[This chapter of the Srimad-Bhagavatam is entitled, "Bali Maharaja Arrested By The Lord." This chapter describes how Lord Vishnu, wanting to advertise the glories of Bali Maharaja, arrested him for not fulfilling his promise in regard to the Lord’s third step. In today's verse, Bali Maharaja expresses his gratitude to the Lord for this uncommon show of favor.]

TRANSLATION

O my Lord, Your pastimes are all wonderfully performed by Your inconceivable spiritual energy; and by her perverted reflection, the material energy, You have created all the universes. As the Supersoul of all living entities, You are aware of everything, and therefore You are certainly equal toward everyone. Nonetheless, You favor Your devotees. This is not partiality, however, for Your characteristic is just like that of a desire tree, which yields everything according to one’s desire.

PURPORT (excerpt):

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is certainly equal toward all living entities, but a devotee who fully surrenders at the lotus feet of the Lord is different from a nondevotee. In other words, everyone can take shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord to enjoy equal benedictions from the Lord, but nondevotees do not do so, and therefore they suffer the consequences created by the material energy.

We can understand this fact by a simple example. The king or government is equal to all citizens. Therefore, if a citizen capable of receiving special favors from the government is offered such favors, this does not mean that the government is partial. One who knows how to receive favors from the authority can receive them, but one who does not neglects these favors and does not receive them.

There are two classes of men — the demons and the demigods. The demigods are fully aware of the Supreme Lord’s position, and therefore they are obedient to Him, but even if demons know about the supremacy of the Lord they purposely defy His authority. Therefore, the Lord makes distinctions according to the mentality of the living being, but otherwise He is equal to everyone.

Like a desire tree, the Lord fulfills the desires of one who takes shelter of Him, but one who does not take such shelter is distinct from the surrendered soul. One who takes shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord is favored by the Lord, regardless of whether such a person is a demon or a demigod.

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