We might think that those with wealth are lucky. Others may think that those with power or fame are wealthy. But the really lucky ones are those who think of nothing but Lord Srinivasa's mercy, said Valayapet Ramachariar.

They are like the chataka bird, which is different from other birds. It is, in fact, different from any living thing. Every living thing, animal, bird or human, needs water to sustain itself. And every one of these, bird, beast, or human being, will go in search of water to quench thirst. But the chataka bird will not drink any water, but rainwater. It will look up at the sky, and await the arrival of rain bearing clouds. And when they shed rain, the chataka bird will open its beak, and receive the rain water directly in its beak. Lucky human beings are those who, like this bird, are always looking to be recipients of the grace of Lord Srinivasa.

The Lord's mercy is certainly like life giving rains, because without His mercy, life becomes meaningless. But the rain that is His mercy, is different from the monsoon rains that we get every year. While the monsoon rains often wreak havoc, either by coming down in torrents, or not raining enough, His mercy is there in abundance, but is not shown in such a way as to cause us distress. His mercy is gentle, overlooking our faults, condoning our mistakes, if we only surrender to Him, and like the chataka bird, seek nothing but the comforting rain of His mercy.

When it has been a hot summer, we find the rains most welcome and refreshing, because the rains give us relief from the heat. The Lord's mercy gives us relief from the heat of worldly life. Worldly life is full of difficulties, and there can be no greater sorrow than to be born repeatedly, and go through the problems, trials and tribulations that are a daily feature of life.

Only the Lord's mercy can save us from these ills. If we think there are other means of liberation, we would only be fooling ourselves. So like the chataka bird, we must look only towards the pouring of the Lord's mercy. To receive this relieving mercy, we must surrender at His feet.


Chataka bird sighted in Lankamalla forest July 11, 2014

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