What does the Lord give us in His infinite mercy? If we surrender to Him, and become the recipients of His grace, we get wealth, fame and prosperity in this world. But over and above this, we get moksha.
Thus Lord Srinivasa's mercy makes our lives on this earth peaceful and also promises liberation at the end of this life, said Valayapet Ramachariar in a discourse.
But what is this trait called mercy that we speak of so often when we talk about the Lord? We see acts of generosity even from human beings. What distinguishes the Lord is His unstinting giving. He gives willingly and joyfully to His devotees.
Human beings may give a man some money, but they often don't do this ungrudgingly. They either voice their displeasure, or at the very least, are not happy about parting with their money. Their generosity is often followed or preceded by some harsh words.
But the Lord's mercy is pleasing. He bears no displeasure towards the one who craves His mercy. And while others may be able to offer material help, none can offer what the Lord alone an offer -- moksha.
When a man is born on this earth, he is born a debtor, for he owes three kinds of debts. There is the debt to the celestials, sages and to his own ancestors. His debt to sages is usually paid off when he recites the Gayatri mantra and adheres to sastraic injunctions.
His debt to the celestials is paid off when he performs yagas. His debt to his ancestors is paid off, when he has progeny, thereby assuring his ancestors that the family line shall continue unbroken. But for one who has the Lord's mercy, all these debts are paid off in one shot.
All a man's indebtedness vanishes, and it is as if he is a man unburdened by debts.
In fact, the celestials, keen to take his offerings, now no longer see him as one who should make them offerings. Since he now has the Lord's mercy, they see him as one who deserves to be served! Just as the Lord's mercy confers on us all manner of benefit, so does the mercy of preceptors.