1. King Pariksit inquired: My dear brahmana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, being everyone's well-wisher, is equal and extremely dear to everyone. How, then, did He become partial like a common man for the sake of Indra and thus kill Indra's enemies? How can a person equal to everyone be partial to some and inimical toward others?
2. Lord Visnu Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the reservoir of all pleasure. Therefore, what benefit would He derive from siding with the demigods? What interest would He fulfill in this way? Since the Lord is transcendental, why should He fear the asuras, and how could He be envious of them?
3. O greatly fortunate and learned brahmana, whether Narayana is partial or impartial has become a subject of great doubt. Kindly dispel my doubt with positive evidence that Narayana is always neutral and equal to everyone.
4-5. The great sage Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, you have put before me an excellent question. Discourses concerning the activities of the Lord, in which the glories of His devotees are also found, are extremely pleasing to devotees. Such wonderful topics always counteract the miseries of the materialistic way of life. Therefore great sages like Narada always speak upon Srimad-Bhagavatam because it gives one the facility to hear and chant about the wonderful activities of the Lord. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Srila Vyasadeva and then begin describing topics concerning the activities of Lord Hari.
6. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, is always transcendental to material qualities, and therefore He is called nirguna, or without qualities. Because He is unborn, He does not have a material body to be subjected to attachment and hatred. Although the Lord is always above material existence, through His spiritual potency He appeared and acted like an ordinary human being, accepting duties and obligations, apparently like a conditioned soul.
7. My dear King Pariksit, the material qualities--sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna--all belong to the material world and do not even touch the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These three gunas cannot act by increasing or decreasing simultaneously.
8. When the quality of goodness is prominent, the sages and demigods flourish with the help of that quality, with which they are infused and surcharged by the Supreme Lord. Similarly, when the mode of passion is prominent the demons flourish, and when ignorance is prominent the Yaksas and Raksasas flourish. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is present in everyone's heart, fostering the reactions of sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna.
9. The all-pervading Personality of Godhead exists within the heart of every living being, and an expert thinker can perceive how He is present there to a large or small extent. Just as one can understand the supply of fire in wood, the water in a waterpot, or the sky within a pot, one can understand whether a living entity is a demon or a demigod by understanding that living entity's devotional performances. A thoughtful man can understand how much a person is favored by the Supreme Lord by seeing his actions.
10. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead creates different types of bodies, offering a particular body to each living entity according to his character and fruitive actions, the Lord revives all the qualities of material nature--sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna. Then, as the Supersoul, He enters each body and influences the qualities of creation, maintenance and annihilation, using sattva-guna for maintenance, rajo-guna for creation and tamo-guna for annihilation.
11. O great King, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the controller of the material and spiritual energies, who is certainly the creator of the entire cosmos, creates the time factor to allow the material energy and the living entity to act within the limits of time. Thus the Supreme Personality is never under the time factor nor under the material energy.
12. O King, this time factor enhances the sattva-guna. Thus although the Supreme Lord is the controller, He favors the demigods, who are mostly situated in sattva-guna. Then the demons, who are influenced by tamo-guna, are annihilated. The Supreme Lord induces the time factor to act in different ways, but He is never partial. Rather, His activities are glorious, therefore He is called Urusrava.
13. Formerly, O King, when Maharaja Yudhisthira was performing the Rajasuya sacrifice, the great sage Narada, responding to his inquiry, recited historical facts showing how the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always impartial, even when killing demons. In this regard he gave a vivid example.
14-15. O King, at the Rajasuya sacrifice, Maharaja Yudhisthira, the son of Maharaja Pandu, personally saw Sisupala merge into the body of the Supreme Lord, Krsna. Therefore, struck with wonder, he inquired about the reason for this from the great sage Narada, who was seated there. While he inquired, all the sages present also heard him ask his question.
16. Maharaja Yudhisthira inquired: It is very wonderful that the demon Sisupala merged into the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead even though extremely envious. This sayujya-mukti is impossible to attain even for great transcendentalists. How then did the enemy of the Lord attain it?
17. O great sage, we are all eager to know the cause for this mercy of the Lord. I have heard that formerly a king named Vena blasphemed the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that all the brahmanas consequently obliged him to go to hell. Sisupala should also have been sent to hell. How then did he merge into the Lord's existence?
18. From the very beginning of his childhood, when he could not even speak properly, Sisupala, the most sinful son of Damaghosa, began blaspheming the Lord, and he continued to be envious of Sri Krsna until death. Similarly, his brother Dantavakra continued the same habits.
19. Although these two men--Sisupala and Dantavakra--repeatedly blasphemed the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu [Krsna], the Supreme Brahman, they were quite healthy. Indeed, their tongues were not attacked by white leprosy, nor did they enter the darkest region of hellish life. We are certainly most surprised by this.
20. How was it possible for Sisupala and Dantavakra in the presence of many exalted persons, to enter very easily into the body of Krsna, whose nature is difficult to attain?.
21. This matter is undoubtedly very wonderful. Indeed, my intelligence has become disturbed, just as the flame of a candle is disturbed by a blowing wind. O Narada Muni, you know everything. Kindly let me know the cause of this wonderful event.
22. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: After hearing the request of Maharaja Yudhisthira, Narada Muni, the most powerful spiritual master, who knew everything, was very pleased. Thus he replied in the presence of everyone taking part in the yajna.
23. The great sage Sri Naradaji said: O King, blasphemy and praise, chastisement and respect, are experienced because of ignorance. The body of the conditioned soul is planned by the Lord for suffering in the material world through the agency of the external energy.
24. My dear King, the conditioned soul, being in the bodily conception of life, considers his body to be his self and considers everything in relationship with the body to be his. Because he has this wrong conception of life, he is subjected to dualities like praise and chastisement.
25. Because of the bodily conception of life, the conditioned soul thinks that when the body is annihilated the living being is annihilated. Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the supreme controller, the Supersoul of all living entities. Because He has no material body, He has no false conception of "I and mine." It is therefore incorrect to think that He feels pleasure or pain when blasphemed or offered prayers. This is impossible for Him. Thus He has no enemy and no friend. When He chastises the demons it is for their good, and when He accepts the prayers of the devotees it is for their good. He is affected neither by prayers nor by blasphemy.
26. Therefore by enmity or by devotional service, by fear, by affection or by lusty desire--by all of these or any one of them--if a conditioned soul somehow or other concentrates his mind upon the Lord, the result is the same, for the Lord, because of His blissful position, is never affected by enmity or friendship.
27. Narada Muni continued: By devotional service one cannot achieve such intense absorption in thought of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as one can through enmity toward Him. That is my opinion.
28-29. A grassworm confined in a hole of a wall by a bee always thinks of the bee in fear and enmity and later becomes a bee simply because of such remembrance. Similarly, if the conditioned souls somehow or other think of Krsna, who is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, they will become free from their sins. Whether thinking of Him as their worshipable Lord or an enemy, because of constantly thinking of Him they will regain their spiritual bodies.
30. Many, many persons have attained liberation simply by thinking of Krsna with great attention and giving up sinful activities. This great attention may be due to lusty desires, inimical feelings, fear, affection or devotional service. I shall now explain how one receives Krsna's mercy simply by concentrating one's mind upon Him.
31. My dear King Yudhisthira, the gopis by their lusty desires, Kamsa by his fear, Sisupala and other kings by envy, the Yadus by their familial relationship with Krsna, you Pandavas by your great affection for Krsna, and we, the general devotees, by our devotional service, have obtained the mercy of Krsna.
32. Somehow or other, one must consider the form of Krsna very seriously. Then, by one of the five different processes mentioned above, one can return home, back to Godhead. Atheists like King Vena, however, being unable to think of Krsna's form in any of these five ways, cannot attain salvation. Therefore, one must somehow think of Krsna, whether in a friendly way or inimically.
33. Narada Muni continued: O best of the Pandavas, your two cousins Sisupala and Dantavakra, the sons of your maternal aunt, were formerly associates of Lord Visnu, but because they were cursed by brahmanas, they fell from Vaikuntha to this material world.
34. Maharaja Yudhisthira inquired: What kind of great curse could affect even liberated visnu-bhaktas, and what sort of person could curse even the Lord's associates? For unflinching devotees of the Lord to fall again to this material world is impossible. I cannot believe this.
35. The bodies of the inhabitants of Vaikuntha are completely spiritual, having nothing to do with the material body, senses or life air. Therefore, kindly explain how associates of the Personality of Godhead were cursed to descend in material bodies like ordinary persons.
36. The great saint Narada said: Once upon a time when the four sons of Lord Brahma named Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanat-kumara were wandering throughout the three worlds, they came by chance to Visnuloka.
37. Although these four great sages were older than Brahma's other sons like Marici, they appeared like small naked children only five or six years old. When Jaya and Vijaya saw them trying to enter Vaikunthaloka, these two gatekeepers, thinking them ordinary children, forbade them to enter.
38. Thus checked by the doorkeepers Jaya and Vijaya, Sanandana and the other great sages very angrily cursed them. "You two foolish doorkeepers," they said. "Being agitated by the material qualities of passion and ignorance, you are unfit to live at the shelter of Madhudvisa's lotus feet, which are free from such modes. It would be better for you to go immediately to the material world and take your birth in a family of most sinful asuras."
39. While Jaya and Vijaya, thus cursed by the sages, were falling to the material world, they were addressed as follows by the same sages, who were very kind to them. "O doorkeepers, after three births you will be able to return to your positions in Vaikuntha, for then the duration of the curse will have ended."
40. These two associates of the Lord--Jaya and Vijaya--later descended to the material world, taking birth as the two sons of Diti, Hiranyakasipu being the elder and Hiranyaksa the younger. They were very much respected by the Daityas and Danavas [demoniac species].
41. Appearing as Nrsimhadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Hari, killed Hiranyakasipu. When the Lord delivered the planet earth, which had fallen in the Garbhodaka Ocean, Hiranyaksa tried to hinder Him, and then the Lord, as Varaha, killed Hiranyaksa.
42. Desiring to kill his son Prahlada, who was a great devotee of Lord Visnu, Hiranyakasipu tortured him in many ways.
43. The Lord, the Supersoul of all living entities, is sober, peaceful and equal to everyone. Since the great devotee Prahlada was protected by the Lord's potency, Hiranyakasipu was unable to kill him, in spite of endeavoring to do so in various ways.
44. Thereafter the same Jaya and Vijaya, the two doorkeepers of Lord Visnu, took birth as Ravana and Kumbhakarna, begotten by Visrava in the womb of Kesini. They were extremely troublesome to all the people of the universe.
45. Narada Muni continued: My dear King, just to relieve Jaya and Vijaya of the brahmanas' curse, Lord Ramacandra appeared in order to kill Ravana and Kumbhakarna. It will be better for you to hear narrations about Lord Ramacandra's activities from Markandeya.
46. In their third birth, the same Jaya and Vijaya appeared in a family of ksatriyas as your cousins, the sons of your aunt. Because Lord Krsna has struck them with His disc, all their sinful reactions have been destroyed, and now they are free from the curse.
47. These two associates of Lord Visnu--Jaya and Vijaya--maintained a feeling of enmity for a very long time. Because of always thinking of Krsna in this way, they regained the shelter of the Lord, having returned home, back to Godhead.
48. Maharaja Yudhisthira inquired: O my lord, Narada Muni, why was there such enmity between Hiranyakasipu and his beloved son Prahlada Maharaja? How did Prahlada Maharaja become such a great devotee of Lord Krsna? Kindly explain this to me.