The idea that by surrendering to God one can hope to attain salvation is stressed in the Vaishnava tradition. God Himself convinces the Jivatma in this regard in His incarnations as Varaha, Rama and Krishna. His promise to protect the Jivatma and lead him out of Samsara is explicit.

But what He expects of the Jivatma is total faith in Him, and total humility with regard to his efforts to reach Him on his own.

Varaha says that if only the Jivatma had pledged himself to Him at least once and thought of Him, He would be at his side at the time of death to guide the soul. Rama says anyone seeking His help is assured of it even if he approached him with guile posing as a friend. Krishna promises release from all sins to one who seeks His feet.

But the Divine Mother is all compassion for the Jivatma and her way of protection is a cut above the Lord’s, pointed out Damal Sri Ramakrishnan and Srimati Perundevi in a discourse.

At the end of Rama-Ravana battle, Vibhishana is crowned king of Lanka. Rama then orders Hanuman to get Vibhishana’s permission and then convey the good tidings to Sita. Hanuman does accordingly and enters Asoka Vana. Sita’s joy knows no bounds. She is at a loss to express her gratitude to Hanuman. Who could be so magnanimous, courageous and resourceful? There is none to match him in any field, avers Sita.

At that moment, Hanuman sees the Rakshasis who had guarded Sita during her stay in Ravana’s custody. His anger rises and he tells Sita: “Please give me permission to put an end to these Rakshasis who had caused fear and pain to you all this while.” The very embodiment of compassion, Sita tells Hanuman to refrain from such acts. She says: “Is there anyone who is free of errors and not has sinned at all?” This statement comes as a breath of fresh air to all devotees. By Her grace, even the worst sinner can hope to be redeemed by seeking her feet.

Sita then continues: “These Rakshasis were only following the orders of their master. What is their fault? Now that Ravana is dead, it is not fair to punish them.”

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