“I am His younger brother, Lakshmana by name. Due to His transcendental qualities, I have taken up service to Him, as He is grateful and very knowledgeable.” (Lakshmana speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 4.12)Download this episode (right click and save)
One of the properties belonging to God is that He is the best well-wishing friend of every living entity. He wants only pure happiness for every single living thing. He travels with everything that is alive. This means that God is always close by. He sees everything, hears everything, and remembers everything.
“Everywhere are His hands and legs, His eyes and faces, and He hears everything. In this way the Supersoul exists.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.14)
God is a person, and sometimes He descends to the material land. It is His creation, after all, so He can come and go as He pleases. With the incarnation of Shri Rama, the younger brother Lakshmana once remarked that there is gratefulness. This was one of the reasons Lakshmana followed the elder brother. One of Rama’s many names is Lakshmana-agraja, which means the elder brother, the one who leads, of Lakshmana.
A good way to get confirmation about this gratefulness is to review the common areas of forgetfulness for the people who aren’t God.
1. Moving to a different place
Out of sight, out of mind. The person dealing with a breakup takes comfort from this. If you don’t see a person, it is likely you won’t remember them. Sita Devi once remarked about this. She wondered if the affection, sneha, from Rama had waned since He was separated from her.
“I trust that Raghava has not lost affection for me due to being away from home. O Vanara, I trust that He will release me from these difficulties.” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 36.20)
Sita is the beloved wife. She is the eternal consort of God, accompanying Him whenever there is an incarnation appearing on earth. Rama, of course, did not forget Sita. Though He was away from home for a period of time, separated from her, He remembered the time they shared and the amazing love she showed.
2. New desires
This forgetfulness is most obvious in children. You buy them a new toy. They are so excited. They play with it for a few days. Then they get another toy. The old one is set aside, likely to never be thought of again.
Desire in Sanskrit is known as kama. The flaw with kama is that it is never fully satisfied. If you try to meet one desire, another one springs up. The intensity grows, as well, making it harder to reach satisfaction. It is something like the law of diminishing returns.
The Supreme Lord is above kama. Nothing about Him is material. Therefore new desires do not cause Him to forget. He remembers even the slightest kind gesture done in His favor.
Time heals all wounds. A person dealing with loss or a painful situation takes comfort in this. Time causes the changing of bodies. It leads the soul from one place to another. Time is the great devouring agent of the world, as it has yet to be defeated.
“The Blessed Lord said: Time I am, destroyer of the worlds, and I have come to engage all people. With the exception of you [the Pandavas], all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain.” (Bhagavad-gita, 11.32)
In the Bhagavad-gita the Supreme Lord says that He is time itself. Time is one representation of God in the material world. It is the only known interaction the atheists have with the Divine. They can deny His existence all they want, but it just means they will see Him at the time of quitting the body.
As God controls time, He is not influenced by it. It is said that time is present in the spiritual world, but it does not have a negative influence. God is not inclined to forget anything, even after hundreds of thousands of years.
4. Old age
This is a byproduct of time. It’s only natural to start forgetting more things as you get older. The scientific explanation is that the different parts of the brain diminish in ability. Nothing can be done to regain the youthful body.
In His original form the Supreme Lord is known as Krishna. This Sanskrit word means “all-attractive.” One description of Krishna’s transcendental body is nava-yauvanam. This means “always fresh and new.” The Supreme Lord does not get old. The depiction of God as a bitter old man with a long gray beard is a mental concoction. He is actually the most beautiful person whose features never diminish.
As Lakshmana remarked, God is grateful. We forget good deeds done for us rather quickly, especially if the same people suddenly can’t come through for us. With the Supreme Lord it is the opposite. He is the most grateful and thus the most worthy of our affection.
Right now dear is friend of mine,
But let them fail just one time.
Then no more their face to see,
Disappointed and angry to be.
Forgetfulness not in Rama found,
Since neither by time nor desires bound.
Supreme Lord, wishing the best for all,
Greatest friend for everyone to call.