manye ’surān bhāgavatāṁs tryadhīśe
ye saṁyuge ’cakṣata tārkṣya-putram
aṁse sunābhāyudham āpatantam
manye—I think; asurān—the demons; bhāgavatān—great devotees; tri-adhīśe—unto the Lord of the threes; saṁrambha—enmity; mārga—by the way of; abhiniviṣṭa-cittān—absorbed in thought; ye—those; saṁyuge—in the fight; acakṣata—could see; tārkṣya-putram—Garuḍa, the carrier of the Lord; aṁse—on the shoulder; sunābha—the wheel; āyudham—one who carries the weapon; āpatantam—coming forward.
I consider the demons, who are inimical toward the Lord, to be more than the devotees because while fighting with the Lord, absorbed in thoughts of enmity, they are able to see the Lord carried on the shoulder of Garuḍa, the son of Tārkṣya [Kaśyapa], and carrying the wheel weapon in His hand.
The asuras who fought against the Lord face to face got salvation due to their being killed by the Lord. This salvation of the demons is not due to their being devotees of the Lord; it is because of the Lord’s causeless mercy. Anyone who is slightly in touch with the Lord, somehow or other, is greatly benefited, even to the point of salvation, due to the excellence of the Lord. He is so kind that He awards salvation even to His enemies because they come into contact with Him and are indirectly absorbed in Him by their inimical thoughts. Actually, the demons can never be equal to the pure devotees, but Uddhava was thinking in that way because of his feelings of separation. He was thinking that at the last stage of his life he might not be able to see the Lord face to face as did the demons. The fact is that the devotees who are always engaged in the devotional service of the Lord in transcendental love are rewarded many hundreds and thousands of times more than the demons by being elevated to the spiritual planets, where they remain with the Lord in eternal, blissful existence. The demons and impersonalists are awarded the facility of merging in the brahmajyoti effulgence of the Lord, whereas the devotees are admitted into the spiritual planets. For comparison, one can just imagine the difference between floating in space and residing in one of the planets in the sky. The pleasure of the living entities on the planets is greater than that of those who have no body and who merge with the molecules of the sun’s rays. The impersonalists, therefore, are no more favored than the enemies of the Lord; rather, they are both on the same level of spiritual salvation.
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