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Re: About the lord's compassion

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Wed Oct 25 2000 - 14:31:00 PDT

Dear Kasturi,

A very good question. Here is my take on it. Emberumaan Sriman Narayana
is indeed looking forward to give every single jIva moksha. But the 
problem is that the jIva, due to an incredible sense of selfishness, 
egoism, and possessiveness, goes its own way and refuses to *allow*
Emberumaan to do the needful.  

As Swami Sri Pillai Lokacharya so eloquently puts it, "The Lord's thoughts 
[of our welfare] are always with us." (adu dAn eppOdum uNDu -- SrI vacana 
bhUshaNam / svb 67). But his desire to give the jIva liberation from ajnAna 
can only bear fruit if the jIva changes its way of thinking -- (adu phalippadu ivan
ninaivu mArinAl -- svb 68). For forcing a gift upon someone, when that
person does not desire it, or is not ready to receive it, is no gift
at all.

His compassion is ever-existent, patiently waiting, or should I say
anxiously waiting, for us to allow Him to protect. This is known
as His siddhopAyatva. One need not draw the compassion out of Him;
one need just receive it.  We may see this vividly portrayed in Srimad 
Bhagavatam, SrI gajendrAzvAn (the jIva), struggling as he was in the lake 
(worldly existence) to escape from the clutches of the crocodile 
(the senses), for years felt that his strength was equal to the situation, 
and could himself work it out.  He finds it difficult to bear, but first
seeks to manage the situation himself.  After an intense struggle with
the crocodile, he finds himself still stuck in the lake at square one
or even square zero.  He then tries other external aids, such as his
friends and relatives. After eons pass he still finds himself stuck,
perhaps worse off than before.

This whole time, due to his delusion (mada), he had ignored the One within 
who is ever-ready to do all that is required to free him.  But SrI 
gajendrAzvAn's struggles, in this sense, are not fruitless, for they have 
revealed the true solution to the problem -- nothing, not oneself, one's 
possessions, one's friends, relatives, gurus, etc., can remove the troubles of 
samsAra. Once the jIva recognizes its helplessness (Akincanyam) and its lack 
of any other way (ananya-gatitvam), it finally allows the paramAtmA's 
compassion to bear fruit by abandonding self-effort and turning to the Source, 
the real protector, for relief.  And as oft repeated with respect to SrI 
gajendrAzvAn, no sooner had he recognized this truth that garuDArUDha
nArAyaNa was immediately there destroying the crocodile. 

The description of the material universe as lIlA-vibhUti is to emphasize
that the Lord, as the antarAtmA, is both unaffected by the apparent problems
of the world, and that the problems faced by individual jIvas are a product
of their own karma, not an effect of the cruelty of the Lord. In the
Brahma-Sutras, the declaration that the world is 'mere lIlA' means that
the Lord has no *personal* desire to be accomplished by creation, and
that he remains unaffected by it.  This serves to underscore that he has
no desire to inflict punishment on jIvas. The next sUtra states that 
the Lord does not play favorites and is not cruel (vaiSamya-nairghrNye na
sApekshatvAt tathA hi darSayati).

In other words, the Lord has no personal desire to be accomplished in
propagating this play. He will not be bereft of pleasure if the lIlA-vibhUti
were to come to an end.

aDiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan

Kasturi Varadarajan writes:
>      firstly, does nArAyaNA have the capacity to bring his leelA-
> vibhUti to a close and give mOksham to every jiva? The answer to
> this question seems to be "yes", since everything is supported
> and controlled by him.
>      Then why, being a compassionate lord, does he not do this? Is
> it not obvious that every jIva will enjoy mOksha more than the ups
> and downs of samsara? 

> Does this mean
> that his desire for propagating this play  somehow overrides his compassion?

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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