Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lord' Compassion

The Hindu on January 12, 2011, in its religion column featured an article I wish to share. It talks about Lord Vishnu's boundless love for his devotees. Let me quote the article in full.

The Lord is bound by the love of His devotees. Just as an elephant is controlled by a mahout who uses a small stick to prod the animal, so does our bhakti enslave the Lord.

Our bhakti is akin to the mahout's instrument. An example of how He is tied up by our bhakti is seen in the Krishna avatara, in which Yasoda ties Him up to the pounding stone. But in reality, does she indeed tie Him up? Is it possible for us to tie up the Lord, without His willingness? In Yasoda's case, He was tied up because of her love for Him. Our love is the rope that binds Him. He allows Yasoda to tie Him up; He allows us to tie Him up with our love, said Kidambi Narayanan.

When Yasoda tries to tie Him up, she finds that the rope she has with her is always two feet short. Krishna therefore shrinks His body, so that she can tie Him up.

The Lord who measured the three worlds becomes smaller, because of Yasoda's love. Why is the rope short by two feet? Here, there is a philosophical meaning to be read into the episode. There are two things we need to approach the Lord. One is gnana and the other is anushtana, the observance of prescribed practices.

We all have pride. Unless we give up our pride, we cannot have gnana. If we realise that He is everything, He becomes a slave to us. In the Krishna avatara, He humbled Himself to become Arjuna's charioteer. He even bathed the horses! When His childhood friend Sudhama comes visiting, He seats His friend on a throne and asks His consort Rukmini to wash his feet. He remarks that the water, having touched Sudhama's feet, has become pure. He is happiest in the presence of His devotees. He says He gladly takes any name His devotees choose to give Him.

At the end of the Kurukshetra war, when Yudhistra approaches Him and asks Him what He has been doing, Krishna replies that He has been worshipping.

Surprised, Yudhistra asks Him who He has been worshipping, and Krishna replies that He has been worshipping the best of His bhaktas — Bhishma. Thus the Lord, the Supreme One, worships His devotees!

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