The Lord in debt!

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The Lord SRIMAN NARAYANA is an abode of infinite auspicious qualities in the highest degree of perfection. One such quality is audarya which may be translated as nobility or magnanimity. The Lord’s joy knows no bounds when a devotee sincerely loves Him. Devotees love Him for several reasons: some love Him for money lost due to bad turn of fate; some for acquiring wealth which they did not have before; some for knowing about their own self; and some with no other motive than loving Him! This last mentioned type of devotee is the choicest favourite of the Lord. Lord SRI KRISHNA states in the GITA: “udaaraahsarva evaite jnaaneetu aatmaiva me matam” (VII.18) (All these are indeed noble and magnanimous; but the man of wisdom who loves Me for My own sake is My very Self).

Svami DESIKA in his TATPARYACHANDRIKA (commentary on SRIRAMANUJA’S GITABHASHYA) wax eloquent about the audarya of the Lord. The Lord thinks that the devotees who seek various benefits from Him have this quality – audarya. What a travesty of fact! Who is the donor and who is the donee? How can the man demanding favours from God be termed noble and magnanimous? The Lord feels that all devotees are His own children. He is grateful to them for loving Him, for thinking of Him even though for fulfilling their desires. He is kritajna (grateful). This is one of the Lord’s names mentioned twice in the SRI VISHNU-SAHASRA-NAAMA-STOTRA also (names 83,536).

When DRAUPADI was being disrobed in the full court of the KAURAVA-S right in front of her husbands, she first tried to protect herself and later gave up and sent a pathetic appeal to Lord SRIKRISHNA. This is famous in the srivaishnava tradition as DRAUPADI SARANAGATI(surrender of DRAUPADI).

GOVINDA! DVAARAKAA-VAASIN! KRISHNA! gopee-jana-priya! prapannaam paahi GOVINDA! kurumadhye avaseedateem!!

“0 GOVINDA! Denizen of DVAARAKA!KRISHNA! 0 beloved of the gopika-s! I have surrendered to you. Protect me. I am being humiliated in the midst of KAURAVA-S!”

Lord SRI KRISHNA came to her rescue. He granted her ahhaya-vastra. One poet even says that GOVINDA is the greatest kuvinda (weaver of clothes)! The Lord recollects this episode of DRAUPADI later and makes a very touching statement reflecting His wonderful quality of ‘indebtedness’ to DRAUPADI.

“govindeti yad uakrundat KRISHNAA maam
dool-uvaasinum
Rinam pravriddhumivu me hvidayaat na
apasarparti ”
(MAHABHARATA, III. 58.22)

“That cry for help uttered aloud by DRAUPADI even from a distance calling me GOVINDA — that cry is never away from my mind like a debt that has increased with the interest accumulated on it.”

Although SRI KRISHNA helped DRAUPADI in the most befitting manner and at the right moment, He felt He could not help her in the best manner possible. It is statements like these that take Lord’s magnanimity and nobility, love and compassion to the highest acme! SRI KRISHNA is undoubtedly the embodiment of the two qualities of paratva (transcendence) and saulabhya (easy accessibility/affability) in their highest degree of perfection. Such episodes make us pause and ponder for a moment whether we really deserve such a magnanimous compliment from the Lord!

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