Mercy. Of course is someone gives you something for which they are not obliged to do that, that’s called mercy. If you make a business deal with some merchant, that “I’ll work for you and you pay me thousand rupees per month.” and he pays you thousand rupees, and that is the market rate for that job, then it is not a question of mercy, its fair market. If he doesn’t need any employee, and neither he has anybody, he say you’ll stay here and I will give you some money, then you can say, “Well he’s being merciful.” That means that it is some kindness. That he is doing something for which he is not actually necessary to be done. He is doing it because of some sentiment or some kindness on his part to help another. In Krishna’s case you see He gives His mercy. That means that He is not obliged to do so.
See, there’s nothing we can do there’s nothing we can do to actually get from Him some particular benediction whereby we are obliged to do that. That’s why even sometimes if the Lord gives a devotee a material benediction they’ll say, “That’s not merciful.” Some pure devotee might out of his deep love He may also even criticize that to give a devotee who is serving to give him some material thing this is not mercy because that material thing is not so valuable. That if they can get pure bhakti, that is real mercy, like that. But these are internal type of sentiments. Basically mercy means they are giving some more than what they need to give out of their own kindness, out of their very own broad heart, they are giving.
H.H. Jayapataka Swami Maharaj
1984, 20th July, SB class @ Chennai, India.