Lord Narayana is both the means and the end. He is the goal we need to attain and He is the way to attain this goal too. To speak of this as His quality is to not do justice to the Lord’s kindness towards us. Qualities are often attributes which we acquire. But in the case of the Lord, qualities are not acquired. They define Him. They are inseparable from Him, said Akkarakkani Srinidhi in a discourse.
The Lord’s simplicity is astounding. Rama is willing to take food offered by the humblest of people although He Himself is of royal lineage. He is happy to eat what is offered by Sabari. He is happy to make friends with monkeys. He is as happy in the company of learned sages like Viswamitra as He is in the company of the monkey king Sugriva. The Ramayana showcases the Lord’s kindness while also highlighting saranagati as the best means of reaching the Lord. The Ramayana is full of examples of saranagati. The first surrender is by the celestial beings, who approach Narayana for help. If Brahma and the celestial beings themselves surrendered to Him, should we not also resort to surrender as the means of liberation?
Like a mother, the Lord is anxious to come to the rescue of His devotees, and He wants to do this without any delay. That is why in some temples of importance, the deity is seen holding a Prayoga chakra. Here the Lord’s discus is not held in the usual way, but is facing away from the Lord. Thus in case one of His devotees should face trouble there will not be even the delay of a second in His going to their rescue. If the discus were held in the usual way, it will take a second for Him to turn it round and use it. He cannot brook even this delay where His devotees are concerned.
Narayana is the embodiment of love. If this is the case, then why does He hold weapons, one might ask. The answer is that the weapons are to be used only against those who harm His devotees.
Those who are inimically disposed towards Him or His devotees will see the weapons as such. To His devotees, even His weapons appear as ornaments, adding further to His resplendence.