CHENNAI: The Supreme Being who is the cause of the universe and is at the same time responsible for its sustenance and dissolution is also the most approachable to those who sincerely seek His feet. This is reiterated in the scriptures, the Puranas and the Itihasas and is borne out in the many incarnations and instances when the Lord has always stood by His devotee, if only the devotee displayed implicit faith. This unique bond between the devotee and the Lord is the quintessence of the principle of surrender, which is at the crux of the Vaishnava tradition, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a lecture on Vibhishana’s surrender to Lord Rama.

The Lord demonstrates His accessibility (Saulabhya) when He accepts Vibhishana who came to Him after abandoning Ravana. Vibhishana’s act was analysed in Lord Rama’s camp and in the midst of the ensuing pros and cons the Lord asserted His promise of protection to those who seek Him. The Lord proclaims that since Vibhishana had come with the intention of friendship, He would certainly accept him. In fact it is implied that even if he came as a friend in guise, or the demon was good or bad, it did not matter in the least. The Lord could kill any being — be it a devil, demon, supernatural being, or an ogre — with the tip of His finger, and is capable of protecting all against any kind of enemy.

Lord Rama alludes to the story of the dove that displayed a rare hospitality by offering itself as food to the hunter who had killed its mate, when it realised that his action was prompted by hunger. If a bird could show such magnanimity to one who was the cause of its sorrow, should we not be inspired to be courteous to all?

When Putana came as a mother in disguise with thr intention of feeding child Krishna poisoned milk, the Lord graced her instead without investigating the act. Such is the Lord’s greatness that even when He punishes He searches for some good traces in the sinner to be used as an excuse to exonerate the sin.

During Rama Avatar, the Lord kept His Supreme Nature well hidden. Yet this vow of protection reveals His Absoluteness and compassion towards mankind.