“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)
Friend1: You ever noticed how parents have different relationships with their kids?
Friend2: You mean in one family or across different families?
Friend1: Well, obviously there is variety as you move from family to family. I’m specifically talking about within a single family.
Friend2: Oh, like how one child is the baby of the family? They can do no wrong. They never get in trouble. They are spoiled. Contrast with the firstborn, who gets the opposite treatment.
Friend1: Exactly. There is the common joke that parents make all the mistakes on the first child. It’s like a guinea pig.
Friend2: There’s a lot of truth in that.
Friend1: It shouldn’t be that way, right? Parents should apply the same amount of attention, love, and affection.
Friend2: It’s due to the different natures. Generally, they love the children the same amount, but the treatment is specific to the personality type. This variation doesn’t necessarily mean the parents love one child more than the rest.
Friend1: Okay, so this is with parenting, where there is a natural bond formed, which is almost unbreakable. What about with friendship?
Friend2: As in you treat certain friends better than others?
Friend1: Absolutely. I’m ashamed to admit it but if two of my friends ask me for an identical favor, the first instinct is to decline one and help the other. In fact, I jump at the chance to help the other friend.
Friend2: Why is that?
Friend1: Because the one friend takes advantage. They expect others to make up for their irresponsibility. They also know that I don’t like being inconvenienced.
Friend2: So that’s why you are hesitant to help?
Friend1: Yes. In addition, helping them doesn’t really do much for the relationship. For instance, if I come through five straight times, on the sixth time there is no forgiveness for customer loyalty. If I fail to come through on the sixth request, they get upset.
Friend2: Yeah. That’s not cool. It’s human nature, though. We forget. Its starts from the time of birth. As soon as we exit the womb we forget the suffering of the past nine months. We forget the experiences of the previous births, also.
Friend1: God is different, I would assume.
Friend2: Don’t just take my word for it. Lakshmana once remarked on how Rama was grateful. That was one of the reasons Lakshmana was devoted to Him. Rama is God in an incarnation form. The saguna incarnation gives proof to many concepts simultaneously. With Rama’s pastimes we see that He doesn’t forget even the smallest good deed done in His favor.
Friend1: So He would treat both friends the same way?
Friend2: You mean if one of them took advantage of Him all the time and the other one didn’t?
Friend1: Right. Like I am more inclined to help my second friend. They don’t take advantage of me. They are always thinking about my welfare first. Sometimes they don’t even have to ask. I volunteer to help. I know that they appreciate it.
Friend2: So does God love the person who doesn’t appreciate Him?
Friend2: Of course. He stays with everyone as the Supersoul. As Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, says in the Bhagavad-gita, He doesn’t envy anyone. He is the best companion through His expansion of the Supersoul residing within the heart. Paramatma is inside both the priest and the thief. He is inside the lower animal and the tiger ready to eat it.
Friend1: Okay, but isn’t there another stipulation?
Friend2: Someone who renders service to Him becomes a friend. A friend means someone who receives direct support from the Supreme Lord. God is the best friend to have. He provides to the devotees what they lack and preserves what they have.
“But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form – to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.22)
With admission ashamed to say,
That one friend treated different way.
Since advantage of my help not taking,
For them immediate the effort making.
God neutral, a friend automatically to all,
But rendering service one a friend to call.
For them bringing whatever lacking,
And preserving from time attacking.