Saturday, August 18, 2007


The Lord's Sri Vamana avatar is a great one. He took a dwarf form but in the Sri Trivikrama role in the same avatar He exhibited His gigantic strides. We are not fortunate to get a glimpse of that mammoth image but in the dwarf form we can worship Him at the Sri Thirukkuralappan sannidhi at the South Gopuram [tower] of Srirangam temple. With palm leaf umbrella and kamandalam [ a small pot for carrying water] in His hands He graces the devotees. Sri Kamalavalli Nachiar is also in this sannidhi. A unique feature of this sannidhi is that when the Lord decided to marry Sri Andal as per Her wishes and conveyed the same to Her father Perialwar, who came with all entourage and Sri Andal from Srivilliputhur to Srirangam, it was this sannidhi where they first worshipped and from here proceeded to the main sannidhi of Sri Ranganatha where Sri Andal mingled with the Lord. The mantapam in this sannidhi has 24 pillars depicting Gayatri mantra which has 24 syllables. This is because Sri Vamana is a bachelor and Gayatri is supposed to be chanted by Him in the Sandyavandanam [morning and evening prayers]. We will see what is the connection between 23rd sloka and Sri Vamana:

yadi hy aham na varteyamjatu karmany atandritahmama vartmanuvartantemanushyah partha sarvasah
"For if I ever failed to engage in carefully performing prescribed duties, O Partha, certainly all men would follow My path."

Aham= the Almighty God I am [Sri Krishna tells], yadi = might, jatu=at any time, atandritah = without laziness, karmany na varteyam = do not perform the prescribed duties, mama =my, vartma = actions, anuvartante = will be followed, manushyah = men, sarvasah = in all respects.

That is, even at any time, due to fatigue or laziness Sri Krishna were to fail to perform His prescribed duties [ in the role He had assumed], all people would follow this action always. Sri Vamana is the example here. In the 22nd sloka, trishu lokeshu, that is in all the three worlds was mentioned. The Lord resides in a place far away from all the worlds and so here we have to interpret three worlds as three births He assumed. Whether He was born as deva or human or beast, He has followed the duties prescribed. When the Lord took the role of a Boar to redeem Sri Bhhoma devi, He appeared with real boar features and this made other ordinary boars to think that He was one among them and so played friendly. On the contrary, in Srimad Ramayana, when Mareecha took the form of a beautiful deer, other deers felt he was not of their clan and so ran away out of fear. The Lord however fits Himself truly to the form He takes because He has to set an example to His followers. In the Sri Vamana avatar, He has to beg for land from King Bali. The apt role for this is Bachelor form, says Swami Vedanta Desika. But the Lord is always with Sri Lakshmi as Consort on His right chest. To be true to the role He had taken, He hid the right chest by a big deer skin as was the custom followed by bachelors while going for begging [It is to avoid the grace of Sri Lakshmi falling on the King and thereby His mission might fail is another reason]. Such a great Lord with nothing needed goes for begging means the Lord is prepared to downgrade His status so as to protect His devotees and perform His duty.

No comments: