tasmai saṁvyabhajat so ’nnam
hariṁ sarvatra sampaśyan
sa bhuktvā prayayau dvijaḥ
tasmai—unto him (the brāhmaṇa); saṁvyabhajat—after dividing, gave his share; saḥ—he (Rantideva); annam—the food; ādṛtya—with great respect; śraddhayā anvitaḥ—and with faith; harim—the Supreme Lord; sarvatra—everywhere, or in the heart of every living being; sampaśyan—conceiving; saḥ—he; bhuktvā—after eating the food; prayayau—left that place; dvijaḥ—the brāhmaṇa.
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 brāhmaṇa 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 brāhmaṇa and in the caṇḍāla. This is the true vision of equality, as confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (5.18):
“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” A paṇḍita, 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-nārāyaṇa, or “poor Nārāyaṇa,” Rantideva had no reason to give preference to any one person. The idea that because Nārāyaṇa is present in the heart of one who is daridra, or poor, the poor man should be called daridra-nārāyaṇa 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 Nārāyaṇa. 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-vastunaḥ). It is not that everyone is the Supreme Godhead. Such a theory, which is propounded by the Māyāvāda philosophy, is always misleading, and Rantideva would never have accepted it.
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