“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.29)
As we are accustomed to establishing differences from one individual to another, it is not surprising that in spiritual life the same tendency exists. The fundamental truth of that spiritual life is the equality shared by all beings. Not only are all humans the same constitutionally, but so are all creatures. The ant, the elephant, the dog, the cow, the tiger, the mouse – all are spirit soul at the core. As souls are equal, anyone who surrenders fully to the Supreme Lord, regaining their constitutional occupation, is dear to Him.
This seems like a rather obvious truth, but one of the more common misconceptions is that people born into certain families or in certain areas become more dear when they take up bhakti-yoga, or devotional service. Since their families might be more pious, since they might be more prone to that devotion from the time of birth, the thought is that their devotion is at a higher level. Therefore that makes them dearer to God than others.
Another misconception is that within the realm of service a more accomplished person gains a higher stature in the eyes of the Lord. If I’m working at a company that sells automobiles, the person who sells the most cars each month will be in better stead with the boss. This is only natural. The goal of the establishment is to move product in order to turn a profit.
We can think of God as the original proprietor. He owns everything. All the stuff that we consider to be ours is just on lease from Him. He has no motive for profit. He automatically provides for everyone, His children. This means that people coming from one location of the massive creation cannot automatically have a higher stature. It also means that each person’s service stands on its own merit; it is not a competition. There is nothing to compete over, as the Lord’s favor goes around equally.
Consider this question. Whom do you love more, your mother or your father? This is a tough question to answer. In most cases there is no favorite. Even if you are closer with one parent, it doesn’t mean that you don’t love the other. Direct the same question at the parent. Which one of your children is the favorite? Outside observers may notice differences in treatment from the parents, but this does not speak to affection. The good child will require less supervision than the naughty one. More supervision means more attention, but it doesn’t necessarily mean more love.
As all the creatures of the world are children of God, none are His favorite. He loves everyone equally, as He confirms in the Bhagavad-gita. While He envies no one and is equally disposed to all, the devotees are considered His friends. They are in a different status because they specifically take advantage of the divine mercy. The material nature is the indirect energy of God, which means that there is no special benefit to be gained from it. The devotees associate with the direct energy of God, the spiritual energy.
With the direct energy you get the direct intervention. It’s like the child getting more attention from the parent. The love is still equal, but the benefit is greater, especially since no child in this world can actually do anything on their own. They need the guiding hand of the Supreme Father. The wise gladly accept that hand from practicing devotion, calling out to Him through the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Even the worst of the human society can become fixed through this devotion. This again shows the love that God gives to everyone. He must show this affection; otherwise He wouldn’t be a good father. So the worst person that you see, the one who has all bad habits, who uses foul language, and who regularly denies the existence of the undivided spiritual force that pervades everything – they have a chance at salvation. And this chance is always there. This means that those people we consider to be bad have only yet to be fixed up in their eternal occupation. The good have found the light, and so they happily shine it towards any who are in need of it. This light is an extension of the mercy of the Supreme, and it is available for all the children to use.
Since all children are His own,
Favoritism not to be shown.
Every species with spirit inside,
Despite differences appearing outside.
Devotees to Him considered as friend,
Since on His divine mercy to depend.
Waiting for others is benefit the same,
To come easily through chanting holy name.