The Lord is known for His leelas, and He resorts to playful antics, for the entire Universe is His creation, and becomes His playground. The Lord presents to us the right path we have to choose for moksha, but He does so through suggestion and gentle guidance and cryptic statements.
We often wonder why is it that He resorts to such subtle means to make us see the right path. We also fail to understand why we are confronted by many confusing paths. Why did the Lord not simply present us with the path we need to take, instead of presenting us with choices?
The answer lies in the fact that the Lord is always fond of sport. His presenting to us myriad paths is also a part of His sport, and this is clearly explained by Vedanta Desika in his Yatiraja Saptati, said Valayapet Ramachariar in a discourse.
We have the example of the Lord indulging in such sport even with His Consort! In the Krishna avatara, Rukmini had not seen Krishna before Her marriage. Yet She had made up Her mind that She would marry Him. She had heard tales of His good looks, His valour and His charm. So when it was decided that Sisupala would marry Her, She sent word to Krishna.
The Lord hastened to Her and carried Her away. But the Lord could not resist the desire to tease Her. Such was the mischievous streak of Krishna! So He told Rukmini that She must be quite clear in Her mind about the person She had chosen to cast Her lot with. He was not a rich man, Krishna said. Nor was He sought after by the rich and powerful. He was sought after by the poor and the destitute. Would She be happy with Him? The Lord gave such a description of Himself, and yet Rukmini was wise and steadfast in Her attachment to Him. She did not waver in Her decision to wed Him.
Testing us with options
In the same way, the Lord confuses us, by placing before us many paths. It is for us to make the right choice. Those who choose the right path attain moksha. Those who are misled into choosing the wrong path, remain bound to the samsaric cycle, and are not liberated from this cycle. We must tread the right path, with the guidance of a preceptor.