Who Is Devoted To Who?

samo ‘haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
na me dveṣyo ‘sti na priyaḥ
ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā
mayi te teṣu cāpy aham
[Bg. 9.29]

The Lord says that “I am… Although I am equal to everyone…” God is nobody’s enemy and nobody’s special friend, just like the king, the government, nobody’s enemy, nobody’s friend. As you act, so you get result. Similarly, for common man, there is no special favor from God. Ye tu bhajanti māṁ bhaktyā. Ye tu. This tu means “but.” Here is a word, but. But means just like we sometimes say that “I am such and such, but…” “But” means there is something special. So this word is used here, tu. Tu means “but.” What is that “but?” Ye tu bhajanti māṁ prītyā: “Anyone who is engaged in devotional service of Me, so for him I have got special attention.” Ye tu mām…, ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā mayi te teṣu cāpy aham: “As he is always, constantly engaged in My service, similarly, I am also engaged always in his service,” the Lord says.

Here one passage is quoted by a great commentator, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, that bhagavān bhakta-bhaktimān. Just like we become devoted, similarly, God also becomes devoted to us. You don’t think that one-sided devotion. No. Just like love is never one-sided. Love is reciprocation, reciprocation. Similarly, although God is great, He becomes a devotee of the devotee. He takes pleasure in that way. It is clearly stated that “I also try to devote Myself for his service.” As we take pleasure in serving God, similarly, God also takes pleasure by serving the devotee. That is reciprocation.

– Bhagavad-gita Lecture 9.29-32 – New York, December 20, 1966


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