Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 3 - Chapter 1 - Verse 11


श्री भगवानुवाचवेदाहमन्तर्मनसीप्सितं तेददामि यत्तद् दुरवापमन्यै: ।सत्रे पुरा विश्वसृजां वसूनांमत्सिद्धिकामेन वसो त्वयेष्ट: ॥ ११ ॥


śrī-bhagavān uvācavedāham antar manasīpsitaṁ tedadāmi yat tad duravāpam anyaiḥsatre purā viśva-sṛjāṁ vasūnāṁmat-siddhi-kāmena vaso tvayeṣṭaḥ


O Vasu, I know from within your mind what you desired in the days of yore when the Vasus and other demigods responsible for expanding the universal affairs performed sacrifices. You particularly desired to achieve My association. This is very difficult for others to obtain, but I award it unto you.


Uddhava is one of the eternal associates of the Lord, and a plenary portion of Uddhava was one of the eight Vasus in the days of yore. The eight Vasus and the demigods in the upper planetary system, who are responsible for the management of the universal affairs, performed a sacrifice in the days of yore, desiring to fulfill their respective ultimate goals in life. At that time an expansion of Uddhava, acting as one of the Vasus, desired to become an associate of the Lord. The Lord knew this because He is present in the heart of every living entity as Paramātmā, the Superconsciousness. In everyone’s heart there is the representation of the Superconsciousness, who gives memory to the partial consciousness of every living entity. The living entity, as partial consciousness, forgets incidents of his past life, but the Superconsciousness reminds him how to act in terms of his past cultivation of knowledge. Bhagavad-gītā confirms this fact in various ways: ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham (Bg. 4.11), sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (Bg. 15.15). Everyone is at liberty to desire as he likes, but the desire is fulfilled by the Supreme Lord. Everyone is independent to think or desire, but the fulfillment of one’s desire depends on the supreme will. This law is expressed as “Man proposes, God disposes.” In the days of yore, when the demigods and Vasus performed sacrifice, Uddhava, as one of the Vasus, desired to enter into the association of the Lord, which is very difficult for those busy in empiric philosophical speculation or fruitive activities. Such persons have practically no information of the facts about becoming an associate of the Lord. Only the pure devotees can know, by the mercy of the Lord, that the personal association of the Lord is the highest perfection of life. The Lord assured Uddhava that He would fulfill his desire. It appears that when the Lord informed him by His indication to Uddhava, the great sage Maitreya finally became aware of the importance of entering into the association of the Lord.