“All of them – as they surrender unto Me – I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.11)
ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते
तांस् तथैव भजाम्य् अहम्
मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः
ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ
“I think the avataras of Vishnu represent boundless compassion. Karuna that is flowing like an ocean. Beyond what words can capture. Something to be felt, a deep soul-stirring experience bursting from the written pages. Attention stealing images resulting from the sounds produced, the shabda-brahamn.
“As Shri Krishna, the Supreme Lord helps the couple in distress in Mathura. He gives transcendental bliss, ananda, to the residents of Vrindavana. He is the life and soul, the prana-natha, of the cowherd damsels of Vraja. He is the lifter of Govardhana Hill and a leader in reinstituting proper religion, dharma, which can be practiced by every class and gender.
“As Narasimha, Vishnu rescues the innocent child named Prahlada. He defeats the greatest villain, the best of the asuras, with minimal effort, in an amazing form thought to never exist. As Rama, the same Personality of Godhead defends the sages dedicated to Him in worship from the nocturnal attacks of wicked night-rangers.
“What about to people who feel they haven’t been protected? Horrible tragedies endured. Endless pain and suffering. A genuine yearning for relief. Desperate for assistance from above. A higher power to come and save them. Knocking on the door, but no one seems to be home.
“How do we convince such people that God is indeed nice? What reason will they have to believe, considering that not everything has gone as well for them in life?”
The situation for the sages in the Dandaka forest weren’t going so well, either. They had to petition Shri Rama directly because of the overwhelming disaster that quickly emerged. The brahmanas were being eaten away by the Rakshasas, and it looked like no one was there to protect them.
Prahlada had untold suffering in Hiranyakashipu’s kingdom. Not a single friend in sight. No well-wishers. The peers in school were actually on an inferior level. Prahlada became their teacher instead of their friend.
Vasudeva and Devaki had to suffer for a long time at the hands of Kamsa in Mathura. If analyzing at an arbitrarily chosen point in time, you would have to say that there was no God. How could He allow innocent babies to be thrown against stone, with the specific intent of abortion? How could He sanction the suffering of the blameless Devaki in this way, as she had done nothing wrong?
There is ample evidence of Vishnu’s kindness in the conclusion to these historical tales. He protected. He defended. He delivered justice, proving that dharma always wins in the final act. His kindness extended to the very ability to interact. This was a gift from above that gave tremendous joy to the participants.
While even the demigods were afraid of the angry Narasimhadeva, Prahlada was not. While baby Krishna handed death in response to lethal force applied by the asuras sent by Kamsa, the people of Vrindavana thought of Yashoda’s child as a dependent, as someone who needed to be protected.
While Rama taught the greatest lesson in righteousness to the wicked Ravana of Lanka, the people of Ayodhya welcomed back their beloved prince with a historic display of welcoming lights, giving birth to the annual tradition of Diwali.
Aside from the personal interactions, there is the presence of Supersoul. The Supreme Lord is always with me. In this feature, which is an expansion, He is the all-pervading witness. He sanctions the choice to act in a certain way, but He does not interfere in the decision-making process.
गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः
कर्ताहम् इति मन्यते
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.27)
The very ability to denounce God, to call Him mean, to reach the extent of denying His existence, is evidence of His causeless mercy. As they follow Him, so Vishnu rewards accordingly. If there is a desire to forget, to fall victim to the illusion that is maya, to spin on the wheel of repeated birth and death, God allows.
Thus in every corner of an existence we see the mercy and kindness. Those who worship directly, who believe in and serve the personal side of the Divine, receive the reward of continued association. They also know Him to a greater degree, recognizing His influence in every aspect of living, confident that He will always deliver the fair and just outcome.
Giving outcome just and fair,
Always at right time there.
The devotees in this way seeing,
Lord Vishnu, Supreme Divine being.
When others not favored thinking,
Into improper conclusion sinking.
But mercy to everyone extended,
Reward contact accordingly depended.