नैवाद्भुतं त्वयि विभोऽखिललोकनाथे
मैत्री जनेषु सकलेषु दम: खलानाम् ।
नि:श्रेयसाय हि जगत्स्थितिरक्षणाभ्यां
स्वैरावतार उरुगाय विदाम सुष्ठु ॥ १७ ॥
naivādbhutaṁ tvayi vibho ’khila-loka-nāthe
maitrī janeṣu sakaleṣu damaḥ khalānām
niḥśreyasāya hi jagat-sthiti-rakṣaṇābhyāṁ
svairāvatāra urugāya vidāma suṣṭhu
śrī-nāradaḥ uvāca — Śrī Nārada said; na — not; eva — at all; adbhutam — surprising; tvayi — for You; vibho — O almighty one; akhila — of all; loka — worlds; nāthe — for the ruler; maitrī — friendship; janeṣu — toward people; sakaleṣu — all; damaḥ — the subduing; khalānām — of the envious; niḥśreyasāya — for the highest benefit; hi — indeed; jagat — of the universe; sthiti — by maintenance; rakṣaṇābhyām — and protection; svaira — freely chosen; avatāraḥ — descent; uru-gāya — O You who are praised universally; vidāma — we know; suṣṭhu — well.
Śrī Nārada said: O almighty Lord, it is no surprise that You, the ruler of all worlds, show friendship for all people and yet subdue the envious. As we well know, You descend by Your sweet will in order to bestow the highest good on this universe by maintaining and protecting it. Thus Your glories are widely sung.
As pointed out by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī, all living beings are in fact servants of the Lord. The ācārya quotes the following verse from the Padma Purāṇa to elucidate:
śrīr u-kāreṇa kathyate
ma-kāras tu tayor dāsaḥ
“[In the mantra om] the letter a signifies Lord Viṣṇu, the letter u signifies the goddess Śrī, and the letter m refers to their servant, who is the twenty-fifth element.” The twenty-fifth element is the jīva, the living being. Every living being is a servant of the Lord, and the Lord is the true friend of every living being. Thus even when the Lord chastises envious persons like Jarāsandha, such punishment amounts to real friendship, since both the Lord’s chastisement and His blessing are for the benefit of the living being.