Krishna is impartially partial

The Bhagavad-gita (9.29) states two paradoxical features of Krishna’s nature:

1. He is equal to all and does not consider anyone to be an object of aversion or affection.

2. For those who worship him with devotion, he offers himself to them and they offer themselves to him.

These two features suggest that Krishna is both partial and impartial. How can that be?

The key to understanding Krishna’s mysterious nature is to remember that he is not an impersonal principle but a sentient person. Being a person, Krishna is neither neutral, nor partial; he is reciprocal. When we try to avoid him, he reciprocates by not interfering in our lives and lets us stay under the supervision of the impartial law of karma. When we try to love him, he reciprocates by showering his love on us and intervening to take special care of us.

If Krishna had exhibited stone-like neutrality towards all, there would be hardly any possibility of developing a loving relationship with him. After all, how many people, if any, can love a stone?

If Krishna had not been reciprocal, love for him would have remained mostly an abstract intellectual conception. It is Krishna’s reciprocity that makes his personality emotionally tangible and eminently lovable. It is Krishna’s reciprocity that makes love for him real.

As Krishna is reciprocal, he is indeed partial to those who try to reciprocate love with him, his devotees; he offers special protection and graceto those who choose to love him. But as he is universally reciprocal, he allows everyone to love him and thereby benefit from his partiality. In fact, he publically declares his partiality to attract everyone to benefit from it.

Thus, Krishna is impartially partial: he impartially leaves the doors to partiality open for everyone.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 09 Text 29

“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.”


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