We must salute Lord Narayana’s abundant mercy. Quoting his father Vedanta Desika, Kumara Varadachariar said he worshipped Lord Narayana’s mercy. He could as well have said he worshipped the Lord Himself, instead of singling out a quality of the Lord, and paying his obeisance to that quality. Why did he pick out one quality of the Lord as worthy of being prayed to? If he had to offer prayers to a quality of the Lord, why not the Lord’s Omniscience, or His Omnipotence, or His Omnipresence? There is a reason for this, explained Navalpakkam Vasudevachariar, in a discourse.

The Lord’s Omnipresence indicates that He is present everywhere, and so we, who have many sins to account for, have no place in which we can hide from Him. Because He is all knowing, we cannot hope to keep our sins from Him. Because He is Omnipotent, we have reason to fear that He will punish us for our sins. But the quality of mercy that the Lord has inspires us with confidence. We know that we can bank on that quality to save us. So naturally, that quality of the Lord assumes greater significance in our eyes than any of His other qualities. In fact, this quality of the Lord is celebrated by Vedanta Desika in an entire work, titled Daya Satakam.

God’s mercy is for all. There are no restrictions as to who can or cannot receive it.

Sometimes, it even seems to us that He is merciful without reason. That is because to us being merciful does not come easily. We find it difficult to forgive a person who has hurt us, even if the hurt is only mild. But as far Lord Narayana is concerned, mercy inheres in Him. It is inbuilt in Him. He does not have to try to be merciful. His mercy flows to us with ease. That is why He did not nurse any ill feeling against Kaikeyi, who was responsible for the hardships He faced in the forest. He was not willing to reject Vibhishana, and was not in the least concerned about Vibhishana’s intentions in coming over to His camp. No matter what the reason was for Vibhishana’s presence, He was going to accept Him. That is why His quality of mercy itself should be worshipped, for it is the quality that ensures that we are saved.

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