ye yathaa maam prapadyante taanstathaiva bhajaamyaham |
mama vartmaanuvartante manushyaah paartha sarvashaha || 11 ||

In whichever manner one approaches me, in that manner I favour them. People follow my path in different ways, O Paartha.

ye : one who
yathaa : in which manner
maam : me
prapadyante : approaches me
taan : him
tatha, eva : in that manner
bhajaami : favour them
aham : I
mama : my
vartam : path
anuvartante : follow
manushyaah : people
paartha : O Paartha
sarvashaha : in different ways

Earlier, Shri Krishna said that only those who take refuge in him realize the eternal essence and are liberated. On this note, a doubt may arise: Is he partial to those who take refuge in him, compared to those who do not? He advises us to be free of desires and aversions – isn’t this an example of aversion towards those who do not take refuge in him?

Shri Krishna responds to this doubt in this shloka. First, he asserts that whenever we have a strong desire, whether it is a material one or a spiritual one, that desire reaches Ishvaraa. If we approach the world with a desire for a promotion in our career, or we want better health, that desire reaches Ishvaraa because the world is part of Ishvaraa. The world is a part of Ishvaraa, as we saw earlier.

Having learned of the desire, how does he respond to the request? He says that he treats all requests like an impersonal computer system. Whatever we input, similar will be the output. If someone truly and deeply desires a promotion, and works hard towards it, he will get it. Similarly, if someone truly and deeply desires moksha, or realization of the eternal essence, and puts in the effort, he will get it.

The power of Ishvaraa is impartial. It is without any prejudice or hatred, just like electricity. One may harness electricity to power a fan, to light a room, to watch television and so on. Electricity will never say “I do not like television, so I will not power it, but I will power the fan”. Ishvaraa’s actions are based on laws, just like the laws of nature.