atha tasyabhitaptasya
katidhayatanani ha
nirabhidyanta devanam
tani me gadatah srnu
atha—therefore; tasya—His; abhitaptasya—in terms of His contemplation; katidha—how many; ayatanani—embodiments; ha—there were; nirabhidyanta—by separated parts; devanam—of the demigods; tani—all those; me gadatah—described by me; srnu—just hear.
Maitreya said: You may now hear from me how the Supreme Lord separated Himself into the diverse forms of the demigods after the manifestation of the gigantic universal form.
The demigods are separated parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, as are all other living entities. The only difference between the demigods and the ordinary living entities is that when the living entities are rich in pious acts of devotional service to the Lord, and when their desire to lord it over material energy has vanished, they are promoted to the posts of demigods, who are entrusted by the Lord with executing the management of the universal affairs.

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