Jagannath Rath Yatra is an occasion where compassion of the Supreme Lord comes to forefront. The Supreme sweet Lord Krishna generally confines himself to the association of his loving associates. Leaving those confines, the Supreme Lord comes out to cast his ever merciful loving glance on the conditioned soul who are suffering the pangs of material existence, bereft of service to his lotus feet. He attracts them and gives them an opportunity to serve him and witness his loving dealings with his associates and also an opportunity to associate with his loving servitors. On the eve of this glorious occasion, let us meditate on the extent, excellence and example of Krishna’s compassion for conditioned souls like us.
Krishna’s compassion is unalloyed
In the worldly experience, compassion most often is coupled with a personal ambition – social recognition, goodwill and fame. Krishna is all-knowing and all-powerful. Krishna has unlimited opulences. Krishna is surrounded by the most loving devotees. Krishna is self-satisfied and blissful yet he reaches to the fallen souls. Krishna has nothing to gain. It is simply out of love for us – for our benefit and for our happiness. By turning back to Krishna, we will achieve lasting and complete happiness and fulfilment (BG 9.28).
Krishna’s compassion is uninterrupted – eternal
Compassion, in general is limited by the amount of wealth, availability of time and capacity to share. Krishna is always available and always eager to reciprocate with us in form of his holy name and holy fame in form of the Vedic scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam. He advents millennium after millennium to establish spiritual paths and spiritual teachings for the upliftment of the worldly people (BG 4.8). He sends his loving associates to this world as spiritual teachers from time to time. He is never tired and ever-hopeful in his attempts to deliver us.
Krishna’s compassion is full
Compassion for many is a social courtesy to give something to the needy. Giving everything and giving oneself is something unheard. Krishna is giving everyone the opportunity to get prema bhakti which can conquer Krishna himself. This is the most precious, powerful and confidential in Krishna’s possessions (BG 9.1). Krishna subordinates himself to his loving devotees. The inner circle is generally small, reserved and restricted. Krishna is giving the opportunity for everyone to become part of his inner circle.
Krishna’s compassion is for all
In general, one’s compassion is confined to a particular community defined by nationality and ethnicity. In order to be compassionate, we need to connect and relate to people at the receiving end. Our ability to connect and relate is restricted by our psychological and human limitations. Krishna connects to everyone because everyone is part and parcel of him. Krishna is compassionate for everyone irrespective of the external designations of caste, color and race (BG 9.32). He does not look for any pre-requisite or bother about disqualification. He is unimaginably magnanimous.
Krishna’s compassion is personal
Compassion in the world is generally – a part of life, a part time hobby or a passive chore. For Krishna, compassion is an integral part of him. He personally descends in this world to distribute his devotional service. He descends in various forms to attract the conditioned souls in various ways at various times. He personally guides from heart those who have taken to his devotional service in this world (BG 10.11). He considers very dear to him those who are assisting in his compassionate mission in this world.
Krishna’s compassion is coupled with affection
Krishna’s compassion is never forceful. He always respects our free will and individuality in taking to devotional service. He tolerates our follies and accommodates our frailties (BG 9.30). He helps us in various ways to deal with different obstacles we face in our devotional service like a loving mother helping her little toddler walk. Krishna is ever-patient, ever-tolerant and ever-optimistic and ever-enthusiastic to help us and care for us.
Krishna’s compassion is non-different from Krishna. It is limitless, fathomless and inconceivable. Nonetheless, we always endeavor to understand and remind ourselves of this divine virtue of Krishna, relish it in our heart and reciprocate by being steadfast and serious in our devotional service.