samah priyah suhrd brahman
bhutanam bhagavan svayam
indrasyarthe katham daityan
avadhid visamo yatha
sri-raja uvaca—Maharaja Pariksit said; samah—equal; priyah—beloved; suhrt—friend; brahman—O brahmana (Sukadeva); bhutanam—toward all living entities; bhagavan—the Supreme Lord, Visnu; svayam—Himself; indrasya—of Indra; arthe—for the benefit; katham—how; daityan—the demons; avadhit—killed; visamah—partial; yatha—as if.
King Pariksit inquired: My dear brahmana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, being everyone’s well-wisher, is equal and extremely dear to everyone. How, then, did He become partial like a common man for the sake of Indra and thus kill Indra’s enemies? How can a person equal to everyone be partial to some and inimical toward others?
In Bhagavad-gita (9.29) the Lord says, samo ’ham sarva-bhutesu na me dvesyo ’sti na priyah: “I am equal to everyone. No one is dear to Me, nor is anyone My enemy.” In the previous canto, however, it has been observed that the Lord sided with Indra by killing the demons on his account (hata-putra ditih sakra-parsni-grahena visnuna). Therefore, the Lord was clearly partial to Indra, although He is the Supersoul in everyone’s heart. The soul is extremely dear to everyone, and similarly the Supersoul is also dear to everyone. Thus there cannot be any faulty action on the part of the Supersoul. The Lord is always kind to all living entities, irrespective of form and situation, yet He took the side of Indra just like an ordinary friend. This was the subject of Pariksit Maharaja’s inquiry. As a devotee of Lord Krsna, he knew very well that Krsna cannot be partial to anyone, but when he saw that Krsna acted as the enemy of the demons, he was somewhat doubtful. Therefore he posed this question to Sukadeva Gosvami for a clear answer.
A devotee cannot accept that Lord Visnu has material qualifications. Maharaja Pariksit knew perfectly well that Lord Visnu, being transcendental, has nothing to do with material qualities, but to confirm his conviction he wanted to hear from the authority Sukadeva Gosvami. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says, samasya katham vaisamyam: since the Lord is equally disposed toward everyone, how can He be partial? Priyasya katham asuresu prity-abhavah. The Lord, being the Supersoul, is extremely dear to everyone. Why, then, should the Lord display unsympathetic behavior toward the asuras? How is this impartial? Suhrdas ca katham tesv asauhardam. Since the Lord says that He is suhrdam sarva-bhutanam, the well-wisher of all living entities, how could He act with partiality by killing demons? These questions arose in the heart of Pariksit Maharaja, and therefore he inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami.
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