atha tatra bhavan kim devadattavad iha guna-visarga-patitah paratantryena sva-krta-kusalakusalam phalam upadadaty ahosvid atmarama upasama-silah samanjasa-darsana udasta iti ha vava na vidamah.
atha—therefore; tatra—in that; bhavan—Your Lordship; kim—whether; deva-datta-vat—like an ordinary human being, forced by the fruits of his activities; iha—in this material world; guna-visarga-patitah—fallen in a material body impelled by the modes of material nature; paratantryena—by dependence on the conditions of time, space, activity and nature; sva-krta—executed by oneself; kusala—auspicious; akusalam—inauspicious; phalam—results of action; upadadati—accepts; ahosvit—or; atmaramah—completely self-satisfied; upasama-silah—self-controlled in nature; samanjasa-darsanah—not deprived of full spiritual potencies; udaste—remains neutral as the witness; iti—thus; ha vava—certainly; na vidamah—we do not understand.
These are our inquiries. The ordinary conditioned soul is subject to the material laws, and he thus receives the fruits of his actions. Does Your Lordship, like an ordinary human being, exist within this material world in a body produced by the material modes? Do You enjoy or suffer the good or bad results of actions under the influence of time, past work and so forth? Or, on the contrary, are You present here only as a neutral witness who is self-sufficient, free from all material desires, and always full of spiritual potency? We certainly cannot understand Your actual position.
In Bhagavad-gita Krsna says that He descends to this material world for two purposes, namely paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam [Bg. 4.8]—to relieve the devotees and kill demons or nondevotees. These two kinds of action are the same for the Absolute Truth. When the Lord comes to punish the demons, He bestows His favor upon them, and similarly when He delivers His devotees and gives them relief, He also bestows His favor. Thus the Lord bestows His favor equally upon the conditioned souls. When a conditioned soul gives relief to others he acts piously, and when he gives trouble to others he acts impiously, but the Lord is neither pious nor impious; He is always full in His spiritual potency, by which He shows equal mercy to the punishable and the protectable. The Lord is apapa-viddham; He is never contaminated by the reactions of so-called sinful activities. When Krsna was present on this earth, He killed many inimical nondevotees, but they all received sarupya; in other words, they returned to their original spiritual bodies. One who does not know the Lord’s position says that God is unkind to him but merciful to others. Actually the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (9.29), samo ’ham sarva-bhutesu na me dvesyo ’sti na priyah: “I am equal to everyone. No one is My enemy, and no one is My friend.” But He also says, ye bhajanti tu mam bhaktya mayi te tesu capy aham: “If one becomes My devotee and fully surrenders unto Me, I give him special attention.”
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