QUALITIES THAT ATTRACTS THE MERCY OF THE LORD
Decades ago, when I was in IIT, I once tried preaching to one of the drunkards in my college. I went and requested him to come along with me for a Srimad Bhagavatam class at ISKCON. Although he was finding all reasons to get out of this proposal, he somehow agreed to join me on one condition. That, he would bring alcohol even to the ISKCON temple. I took the risk and brought him to the class. After the class, he grabbed the chanting beads, wore them around his neck and found himself in front of the mirror looking quite smart. From then on, for the next one week, he was broadcasting in our college that he has joined the Hare Krishnas. I had to trick him to get back the beads. But it was one of my first attempts to share Krishna Consciousness with someone.
This incident made me realise that even if I bring someone into the most fortunate association and give him access to the highest knowledge along with the best spiritual experience that souls all over the 14 worlds are longing for, still it can be transformative only if the Lord decides to shower his mercy upon that soul. Without his Grace, even the greatest of our attempts remain futile. So, when good fortune arises, the association of devotees brings us closer to the Lotus Feet of the Lord.
To attain the mercy of the Lord, we have to understand and inculcate certain exalted qualities exhibited by the pure devotees of the Lord to attract and please the Lord. Because the good fortune of the Lord’s mercy is rare.
ANANYATAH- Focused Determination earns Lord’s love
Krishna affirms Arjuna that one who is on this path of devotion must have Ananya Bhakti towards the Lord. The focused determination to please him is the first principle one has to follow. When the Kurukshetra battle was announced and both the parties started forming allies, Duryodhana and Arjuna both were converging at Dwaraka seeking the support of the Yadu dynasty. When Duryodhana opted for the opulence of the Narayani army Krishna possessed thinking the material prospect would add strength to his army, Arjuna chose his dear friend Krishna instead had a deck of choices in front of him but he took to the unalloyed shelter of Krishna, because he put all of his faith in Krishna. He didn’t desire anything but the loving friendship of the Lord. Funnily, Duryodhana thought Arjuna was too sentimental and impractical. This was a highly tempting situation for Arjuna when an entire army of Dwaraka was about to be almost his, but yet he didn’t care for the glitters of material fortune.
BHAKTA VATSALYATA – Loyalty being reciprocated by Protection
Arjuna was extremely loyal to Krishna and so was Krishna to Arjuna. Moreover, just like how we hold the most precious so close to our hearts, similarly, Krishna was highly protective of the Pandavas and Draupadi. Because he is willing to protect them at all costs, he even took the most menial position of a charioteer for Arjuna’s cart. In those days, the warriors would kick the back of the charioteers to give directions. Indeed, Arjuna was kicking The Supreme Personality of Godhead according to the way he wanted the cart to move. Since the Lord sacrifices himself for his loving devotee, he is called Bhakta Vatsala. Although Pandavas made several mistakes, Krishna was patient and tolerant of their mistakes and continued to help them through the adversities. Such a position is earned with sincere dedication to the service of one’s spiritual master and the Lord. As practising sadhakas, we are slowly learning to love God. Yet, the Lord’s heart melts to the extent where he stays extremely tolerant and patient with our immature yet sincere attempts to please him.
NIRMATSARATA – Krishna is pleased by Non-enviousness
Arjuna and the rest of the Pandavas possessed a unique quality called nirmatsarata meaning being completely non-envious of anyone. Arjuna is the third eldest brother among 5 Pandavas. When Krishna became the chariot driver of Arjuna, the other brothers could have easily protested. Yudhisthira didn’t think he deserved Krishna’s help because he is the eldest among all. Bhima too didn’t demand that he was the most powerful of them all, and thus Krishna should be with him. Nor did Nakula and Sahadev state reasons as to why Krishna must help them out more than any of their brothers. Each one could have had his logical argument but none of them asked Krishna to stay with them even for one day. Usually, we say no to God and here to we see that none of them is begging for Krishna’s assistance. However, the latter is because of pure love and selfless adoration for another Vaishnava receiving more mercy from the Lord. Such was the benevolent hearts of the pure devotees of the Lord.
The Lord is very selective in giving his mercy is because he easily gets purchased by the love of his devotees. In the entire Mahabharata, Krishna performed many sacrifices and was always protecting the family of Pandavas whenever they helplessly took shelter from the Lord. By pleasing the Vaishnavas by cultivating the above qualities with humility and servitude one can easily satisfy the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna.