God is so merciful that He will come ten steps towards you, if you but take one step towards Him. Vibhishana , the brother of Râvana, inquired from Hanumân whether Râma will accept his homage and take him under His protecting shade.

Vibhishana said: "I am the brother of His worst enemy, whom He has vowed to destroy; I am a member of the demonic race; I am unacquainted with the Vedas or S'astras or the rituals of the Âryans". Then Hanumân replied: "O you fool! Do you think He cares for ritual correctitude, or family status or scholarship? If so, how could He accept me, a monkey?" That settled the matter. Vibhishana was assured of grace. When he went to Râma later, He asked the elder monkeys around Him whether He could accept Vibhishana into the fold. Of course, He did not need any counsel from anyone. He was never influenced by others. But, still, just to bring them into the picture, He consulted them and made a pretence of not having made up His mind yet. When Sugriva (see RRV-4a) said "no", Râma reminded him that he too had come to Him, first, giving up his elder brother! When Lakshmana said that the only treatment he deserved was to be thrown back into Lankâ, Râma said, "Yes! I am resolved to crown him as the emperor of Lankâ, after the demise of Râvana". Whoever surrenders, Râma accepts, on the spot, without reservations. When someone suggested that Vibhishana should not be promised a throne, for, Râvana may fall at the feet of the Lord and earn pardon for his iniquity, Râma replied, "In that case, I will hold both hands of Bharata and beg him to make Vibhishana Emperor of Ayodhyâ, our ancestral domain; we both, Bharata and I, will spend our time happily in the forests".

Merciful God

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"Love Must Express Itself As Service"

- Sathya Sai Baba