The Lord is said to be above partiality and yet in many instances He favours His devotees and punishes the demons. In a lecture, Sri Dushyant Sridhar pointed out that both Parikshit and Yudhishtira were unable to accept this nature of the Lord and sought explanation from Suka and Narada respectively.
Suka points out that this is the result of the unique bond that develops between the Lord and His devotees and recalls how Yudhishtira too had raised this issue with Narada during the Rajasuya Yaga.
In the midst of the august assembly, the sinful Sisupala, despite hurling abuses and curses at Krishna, had finally gained union with the Lord. Yudhishtira wondered how sin could be rewarded thus.
Narada explains that Bhakti is a state when the mind is constantly fixed on Him. It does not matter if one thinks of the Lord whether due to enmity or friendliness, fear or love, lust or any other passion as long as one focuses only on the Lord. The Gopis gained Him through love, Kamsa through fear, Sisupala through hatred, the Vrishnis through kinship, the Pandavas through affection and sages through Bhakti. This establishes the truth that God can be realised in many ways.
Narada then goes on to relate what happened to Jaya and Vijaya when they prevented the Sanat Kumaras from entering Vaikunta. The sages cursed them to be born in this earth as demons. Jaya and Vijaya repented and prayed to fulfil the punishment in three consecutive births when they would nurture constant enmity to the Lord and get redeemed by Him. They were thus born as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu, Ravana and Kumbhakarna, and Sisupala and Dantavaktra after which they reverted to Vaikunta to resume their duty as gatekeepers. Even deep-seated antagonism to the Lord compels one to think of Him always and in that way is as effective as Bhakti to lead to salvation.
Despite His supreme status that puts an unimaginable distance between Him and us, He allows us to shrink that distance by any other means, whether it is Bhakti, enmity or passion as long as it results in constant thoughts of Him and Him alone.
Keywords: Religious discourse