Who is the most merciful Lord – Lord Rama or Lord Krishna or Lord Chaitanya. Scriptures tell us that they are one and the same. They are the Supreme Lord. They appear in different ages (yuga) to enact different pastimes. But their mission is same – to destroy the demons and to deliver the saintly people.
This is confirmed in Bhagavad Gita by Lord Krishna.
परित्राणाय साधुनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् ।
धर्मसंस्थानार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥ ८ ॥
vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām
sambhavāmi yuge yuge
“To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.”
When we study their activities on our earthly planet, we find they exhibited great compassion towards all the living entities. In all the three incarnations they bestowed mercy upon all.
But are all the three equally merciful? Or one of them is more merciful than other? Difficult to answer.
Before you and I arrive at any conclusion let us reflect on the below conversations which the Lord had with Sita and Radharani.
Lord Rama’s promise to Sita
When Lord Rama was in the forest with mother Sita, he always carried bow and arrow. Using it he killed many demons. Animals and birds would run away in fear seeing bow and arrow. So, mother Sita was not happy.
Once she said, “Why do you carry your bow and arrow all the time? And why you have to kill the demons? Is there no other way to deliver them?”
Lord Rama said, “Well, in this pastime this is what I am supposed to do. I am a kshatriya and my dharma is to protect the innocents and kill the miscreants.”
Sita did not like the word “kill.” Rama understood her heart.
He said, “Ok. In my next incarnation as Lord Krishna in Vrindavan, I will not carry bow and arrow.”
Mother Sita looked at him with suspicious eyes. “If not bow and arrow then what will you carry.”
Rama said, “Not just bow and arrow, I won’t carry any weapon.”
Sita was happy. Rama was relieved. Finally, he was able to please her.
Radharani says to Krishna, “You broke your promise”
When the Supreme Lord appeared as Lord Krishna then he killed the demoness Putana when he was only 7 days old. He was in his pram only. And one after the other he killed so many demons – Trnavarta. Vatsasura, Bakasura, Aghasura and many more It is said that everyday kamsa would send a demon and Krishna would kill him/her.
Radharani was unhappy. Radharani and Sita are same. Radharani expands as Sita when Krishna expands as Rama.
Radha was upset. “You broke your promise, Krishna.”
“Which promise?” Krishna asked.
“As Rama you had said that you won’t kill demons.”
“Wait a minute. You had asked me to not carry bow and arrow. I had agreed. Later you said – no weapon. I agreed for that too. And as per my promise I am not carrying any weapon. Tell me with what weapon did I kill these miscreants. I killed Putana by drinking her poisonous milk. I killed all the demons with my hands and legs only. Since, I did not have any weapon, so I danced on the hoods of kaliya to remove all poison from his body. So much hard work I had to do because you took away all my weapons.“
Radha said, “When I said no weapons, it meant you won’t kill anyone. I never knew that you would use your hands and legs to kill them. It is word jugglery. I know these are extremely sinful beings but still I don’t like you killing them.”
“But you should have clarified with me then and there.”
Radharani understood no use in any further discussion.
Radharani – our eternal mother
Radharani is mother of all the living beings in the entire creation. She is Krishna’s eternal consort. A mother loves her child more than the father. She knew demons are so evil that they need to be punished but still she did not like them to be punished. She wanted Krishna to reform them without killing them. A mother’s heart cries when her child suffers. A child may be mischievous or a hardcore criminal, but a mother will bestow unconditional love upon him/her. Radharani our eternal mother always wants good for us. Although our hearts are flooded with sinful desires and tendencies, but she still loves us.
Krishna says, “In Kaliyuga I will appear as Chaitanya.”
Now mother Radha wanted to know Krishna’s next move. With eyes full of compassion, she looked towards Krishna and asked, “So, what next. When are you going to appear again?”
“In Kaliyuga as Chaitanya”, Krishna said
Our eternal mother became very worried. “Kaliyuga means ocean of faults. A civilization based on quarrel and hypocrisy. Almost everyone commits sins and justifies it. What Krishna will do in Kaliyuga? Is he going to punish everyone? Let me ask his plan and make him promise that he won’t kill or punish anyone. He will forgive even the worst of the sinful person.”
But she was suspicious. Krishna will give his words. But again, he will find a loophole in the agreement and continue killing the miscreants. So, this time I will have to do something different. I will change his heart. For that I will enter his heart.
So, Radharani entered the heart of Lord Krishna. And that Krishna is called Lord Chaitanya.
The Supreme Lord with the heart of Srimati Radharani is Lord Chaitanya.
Lord Chaitanya kills the sin of the sinner with the holy names
As Lord Chaitanya he did not kill anyone.
As Rama and Krishna, the Supreme Lord established dharma by killing the miscreants. But as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu the Supreme Lord established dharma by propagating the chanting of the holy names of Krishna – the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. This is the most potent and lethal weapon. The holy name does not kill the people, but it completely burns the sin of the sinner. And the sinner gets totally purified. This pleases Lord Chaitanya the most. Radharani becomes ecstatic.
In this age of Kaliyuga, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has made it so easy to attain perfection. You and I have to just chant the holy names. And for chanting no qualification is required. Anyone can chant – men, women, children, Hindus, non- Hindus, Indians, non-Indians.
Chanting not only benefits us, but it benefits even the non-human beings like plants, trees, animals, birds etc. These lower species have almost no chance of deliverance but if they somehow hear the holy names then they also get purified.
Lord Chaitanya did not use any weapon to kill anyone. Only once he took his Sudarshan chakra to kill Jagai and Madhai because these two brothers had attacked Nityananda Prabhu. But Nityananda Prabhu immediately reminded him that in this incarnation he is not supposed to use any weapon and kill anyone. The Supreme Lord remembered his words. He got pacified, forgave the two brothers, and transformed their hearts.
Lord Chaitanya – the most merciful Lord
When Lord Chaitanya was present on earth, people were so demoniac. Vedic culture was almost forgotten. Muslims were eating cow flesh. Brahmanas were misinterpreting the scriptures. He was completely justified to punish them.
But the Supreme Lord having a heart of Radharani, decided to kill the demons of the heart and not the demons. Lord Rama or Lord Krishna would have punished us for our sins and bad habits. But Lord Chaitanya is so tolerant. He has given us the medicine of the holy names which will help us to burn our sins and evil proclivities which is the root cause of all sufferings and evil tendencies.
Once our heart is free of all vices, we develop godly qualities. We become qualified to become Lord’s eternal associate in the spiritual world. So much mercy Lord Chaitanya is bestowing upon you and me.
He is the most merciful Lord among the three incarnations.
nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
“O most munificent incarnation! You are Kṛṣṇa Himself appearing as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and You are widely distributing pure love of Kṛṣṇa. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.”