|Chapter 9||Confidential Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth||Verse 29|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
One may speculate that since Lord Krishna grants moksa or liberation from the material existence to His devotees then the Supreme Lord as well is partial through attachment and aversion. This is being addressed now to negate any such speculation Lord Krishna states: sama'ham sarva-bhutesu which means He is equal to all beings. Yet even though He considers no one as His enemy and no one as His comrade; yet still to those who bhajanti tu mam bhaktya or render loving devotion to Him with love, He reciprocates with equal affection. It is seen that fire which destroys the misery of cold and darkness does this for anyone who tends it and wish fulfilling trees bestow desired objects to whomever sits under them they are not partial and in the same way anyone can first be initiated by a Vaisnava spiritual preceptor and become a devotee of Lord Krishna. Although the Supreme Lord favours His devotees it is certainly not because of partiality but rather due to the super excellent glory of bhakti or loving devotion to Him.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
As Lord Krishna is equally disposed to all beings then one could mistakenly believe that bhakti or loving devotion was not needed. He clarifies this with the words mayi te tesu capy aham meaning as His devotees are to Him that is how He is to them. Because He is favourably disposed to His devotees He awards benedictions even if the service is not perfect and to those who bear malice against Him there is not the least dislike towards them from Him whatsoever. It is a fact that everyone is subservient to and under the shelter of the Supreme Lord even if they are unable to realise this fact. As one matures in spiritual wisdom under the guidance of a Vaisinava spiritual preceptor then will be able to perceive the reality of all beings dependence. Otherwise one will become arrogant and belligerent puffed up by the pride of power, wealth or fame. The Paingi texts state that: Because of ignorance such beings do not realise their dependence in the beginning but after learning how to meditate upon the Supreme Lord they too can come find refuge in Him.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Whether it is the divine, heavenly kingdoms, or the human worlds, whether the jiva or embodied being is advanced or primitive, whether the jiva is of a dark color or a light color, whether the jiva is of good character or bad character, whether the jiva occupies a form as an animal, bird or fish or even resides in a form in the stationary kingdoms of trees and plants, Lord Krishna declares that He is the refuge to all and independent to any external considerations being equal to all without distinction. The conception of inferiority due to lack of beauty, absence of wealth, no education, menial position, low class family etc. is not an obstacle for any one desiring to surrender to the Supreme Lord, accepting Him as their refuge. Neither is it applicable for one possessing beauty, abundant wealth, good education, a high position in society coming from a first class family to think that they are entitled to any special privileges or have the right to have access to the Supreme Lord because of it. Whoever selects the Supreme Lord as their all in all, their life and their refuge exclusively, to them alone does the Supreme Lord accept and reciprocate and they due to their unflinching devotion are especially dear to Him. Whoever whether they be of any description, who worship the Supreme Lord with bhakti or loving devotion which is most endearing. Who worships the Supreme Lord with a fervor that if interrupted would feel as if their very life was in peril. Who worships the Supreme Lord as the sole aim and goal to be attained. Such beings regardless of any external position of inferiority or superiority would be filled with such blissful blessedness that could compare only with His own blissfulness.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The doubt may arise that if the Supreme Lord only guides His devotees towards atma-tattva or soul realisation and shuns those who are not His devotee then He is influenced by attraction and repulsion also and cannot be justified to be the impartial Supreme Lord of all. To mitigate this doubt Lord Krishna states samo'ham sarva-bhutesu meaning He is equal to all beings, due to the fact that He is paramatma or the Supreme Soul residing within all beings which includes divine beings, humans, animal, plant, bird and fish each characterised with the innate qualities of their species graded by best, normal and mediocre none being more disagreeable or more agreeable to Him. Whenever bhakti or loving devotion is offered to Him from whatever level of society He accepts. He is not degraded if worshipped by one from the lowest position of society neither is He upgraded if worshipped by one from the highest position in society. Such external considerations are not of importance. Whoever worships Him with bhakti from any class be it high or low He reciprocates in communion with them and they are never seperated from Him. Just like Gajendra who was an only an elephant prayed to the Supreme Lord and was rescued by Him. The Sabari who were simple forest women who seeing His footprints in the forest smeared the dust from them on their bodies and experienced bliss. Guha the tribal king who rendered service to Rama and became His friend. The hero Hanuman who although a monkey was able to aid Rama in finding Sita and became endeared to Him eternally. All these were lowly class yet they still received the Supreme Lords sublime mercy. Contrarily Bhishma, Srutadeva, Bahulasva, the Pandavas being Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva all belonged to the highest class and being devoted to the Supreme Lord received His sublime mercy.
The Supreme Lord Krishna blesses His devotees equally regardless of class or position but to the envious like Duryodhana and the non-believers who are not His devotees He is neutral and they do not receive His blessings. So there is no partiality and contingency of inequality on the part of the Supreme Lord. As fire gives heat and light to whoever comes near to it, as wish fulfilling trees fulfil the desires of whoever sits beneath them and neither are liable to partiality or inequality to those who do not approach them. In the same way the Supreme Lord's extending His grace to His devotees who have approached Him does not exemplify partiality. In Srimad Bhagavatam X.LXXII.VI it is declared by Emperor Yudhisthira that: As Lord Krishna is the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence, the absolute truth, paramatma the supreme soul within all sentient beings, who experiences self bliss and beholds all with an equal eye; with Him there is no difference of feeling between one form and another. Just like the heavenly desire trees, He blesses all who properly worship Him granting their desired rewards according to the service they render unto Him. There is no contradiction in doing this.