Karuna Sagar

Published: Dec 13, 2019

God is ‘Karuna Sagar.’ He is the unlimited ocean of mercy and compassion. Saint Tulsidas writes in Vinay Patrika that Bhagvan Shri Ram is compassionate to one and all. Gaurang Mahaprabhu says – O Krishna! There are only three ways in which You will behave towards me. You will give me a loving embrace; You may kick me away, or You may become neutral towards me. O my sweet Lord! No matter how You treat me, I know that You are always compassionate and merciful.

An ordinary person may treat others with love. He may treat others with hatred. Or he may remain neutral. With God, this is not so. No matter what His external actions may be, God is merciful and compassionate from within at all times. Bhagvan Ram shot arrows at Ravan and killed him. Laying on his deathbed, Ravan said – O Ram! You may think that You have won the battle by killing me, but I am the clear winner. I am going to Your divine abode – Saket – before You. I shall welcome You when You come there after 11,000 years.

We read about Ram’s anger; Krishna’s anger; Shiva’s anger. When we hear about God’s anger, the mind starts to doubt that He is truly God. After all, we too get angry. What is the difference then between God’s anger and ours? When an ordinary person becomes angry, he does so because his selfish motive is being harmed. God has no selfish or ulterior motive. When He gets angry, there is no anger from within. His anger is only an act. When Lord Krishna manifested anger towards Kalia, the serpent’s wives addressed Lord Krishna – O Lord! Even Your anger is an indication of Your grace.

Bheeshma was a true devotee of Lord Krishna. During the battle of Mahabharat, there came a point when Lord Krishna decided that Bheeshma had to be killed for the Pandavas to win the war. In a state of extreme rage, the Lord picked up the wheel of a disabled chariot and rushed towards Bheeshma, wielding the wheel like Sudarshan Chakra, the divine discus. When Bheeshma saw Shri Krishna in a fit of anger, he thought – How merciful my Lord is! He is going to kill me personally. The Supreme Lord saw His smiling devotee and remembered the promise He had made not to use weapons during the battle. He immediately dropped the wheel and stopped running. It was Arjun’s arrows that later pierced the entire body of Bheeshma. As Bheeshma was laying on a bed of arrows there was only one thought on his mind – How beautiful my Lord was looking, with His yellow, silky upper cloth fluttering in the wind.

Our level of devotion is nowhere near that of Bheeshma, but it will surely increase when we learn and accept that God is the ocean of mercy and compassion. Whether we worship Lord Krishna, Lord Ram, Lord Shiv or another form of the Supreme, we beseech Him for grace and mercy. The truth is that He is being merciful to us all the time. God does not know how to do anything else. He is so compassionate and merciful that although we have forgotten Him, He has not forgotten us. He loves us unconditionally. We take His countless graces for granted. Yet, He continues to grace.

If someone does a favor for us, he does so with an ulterior motive. We do the same. If you give a nice birthday present to someone, you secretly expect the same from him. If you help someone with a chore, you expect that he will say yes to your future request. If a person shows you compassion, you show him compassion. It is difficult to be compassionate to the one who shows no compassion to you.

In contrast, God is compassionate to those who love Him as well as to the ones who shun and abuse Him. He is Karuna Sagar, the unlimited ocean of mercy and compassion.

Siddheshvari Devi
Founder, Radha Madhav Society