tam atmano ínugrahartham
sapharyah sa mano dadhe
tam—unto the fish; atmanah—personal; anugraha-artham—to show favor; pritya—very much pleased; matsya-vapuh-dharam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had assumed the form of a fish; ajanan—without knowledge of this; raksana-arthaya—just to give protection; sapharyah—of the fish; sah—the King; manah—mind; dadhe—decided.
To please himself, King Satyavrata, not knowing that the fish was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, decided with great pleasure to give the fish protection.
Here is an example of giving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead even without knowledge. Such service is called ajnata-sukrti. King Satyavrata wanted to show his own mercy, not knowing that the fish was Lord Visnu. By such unknowing devotional service, one is favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Service rendered to the Supreme Lord, knowingly or unknowingly, never goes in vain.
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