Rantideva perceived the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in every living being, but he never thought that because the Supreme Lord is present in every living being, every living being must be God. Nor did he distinguish between one living being and another. He perceived the presence of the Lord both in the brāhmaṇa and in the caṇḍāla. This is the true vision of equality, as confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 5.18):
- brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
- śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
- paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
"The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste]." A paṇḍita, or learned person, perceives the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in every living being. Therefore, although it has now become fashionable to give preference to the so-called daridra-nārāyaṇa, or "poor Nārāyaṇa," Rantideva had no reason to give preference to any one person. The idea that because Nārāyaṇa is present in the heart of one who is daridra, or poor, the poor man should be called daridra-nārāyaṇa is a wrong conception. By such logic, because the Lord is present within the hearts of the dogs and hogs, the dogs and hogs would also be Nārāyaṇa. One should not mistakenly think that Rantideva subscribed to this view. Rather, he saw everyone as part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ). It is not that everyone is the Supreme Godhead. Such a theory, which is propounded by the Māyāvāda philosophy, is always misleading, and Rantideva would never have accepted it.