tasmai samvyabhajat so ’nnam
harim sarvatra sampasyan
sa bhuktva prayayau dvijah
tasmai—unto him (the brahmana); samvyabhajat—after dividing, gave his share; sah—he (Rantideva); annam—the food; adrtya—with great respect; sraddhaya anvitah—and with faith; harim—the Supreme Lord; sarvatra—everywhere, or in the heart of every living being; sampasyan—conceiving; sah—he; bhuktva—after eating the food; prayayau—left that place; dvijah—the brahmana.
Because Rantideva perceived the presence of the Supreme Godhead everywhere, and in every living entity, he received the guest with faith and respect and gave him a share of the food. The brahmana guest ate his share and then went away.
Rantideva perceived the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in every living being, but he never thought that because the Supreme Lord is present in every living being, every living being must be God. Nor did he distinguish between one living being and another. He perceived the presence of the Lord both in the brahmana and in the candala. This is the true vision of equality, as confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (5.18):
“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” A pandita, or learned person, perceives the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in every living being. Therefore, although it has now become fashionable to give preference to the so-called daridra-narayana, or “poor Narayana,” Rantideva had no reason to give preference to any one person. The idea that because Narayana is present in the heart of one who is daridra, or poor, the poor man should be called daridra-narayana is a wrong conception. By such logic, because the Lord is present within the hearts of the dogs and hogs, the dogs and hogs would also be Narayana. One should not mistakenly think that Rantideva subscribed to this view. Rather, he saw everyone as part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (hari-sambandhi-vastunah). It is not that everyone is the Supreme Godhead. Such a theory, which is propounded by the Mayavada philosophy, is always misleading, and Rantideva would never have accepted it.
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