Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Thirumazhisai Alwar was born as Bhaktisara, in the month of Thai in the star Magha, in Thirumazhisai [place near Chennai]. He is the author of two important compilations [in Nalayira Divya Prabhandam] - Thiruchandaviruttham and Nanmugan Thiruvandadi. In the latter one he has mentioned Kapisthalam [pasuram 50]. In that he mentions that he has found the way for hell or sins or dishonour not affecting him, from the words of Gita, which the Lord reclining on the river banks and the Lord reclining in Ksheerabdi, sermoned in Kurukshetra. By mentioning these two places, the simplicity [soulabhyam] and the greatness [Parathavam] of the Lord are indicaed. Because of these, we should deviate from meditating on atman and concentrate on the Lord and this is His opinion, as mentioned by Sri Krishna in the last sloka of Chapter 6. We saw the exalted qualities of the Lord in the last lecture- viz. Creator, blemishless auspicious qualities, Chief of Sri Vaikuntam, unlimited by time or space or matter His immense knowledge, happiness, everlasting and as the Consort of Sri MahaLakshmi. Today [5th March 2008] we will review His simplicity qualities. Swami Ramanuja tells apara karunya, sowseelya, vatsalya, oudharya, etc. We can list them:
  • Karunyam - He can not bear the sufferings of others. His mercy is boundless and it spreads even for creatures with inferior knowledge like elephant. Being merciful to His devotees is no wonder. When Vibheeshana surrendered to Sri Rama, in Thiruppullani shore, the Lord ordered Sugreeva, who had opposed accepting Vibheeshana, to bring Vibheeshana to Him. He mentions to Sugreeva to bring Vibheeshana or even, if by that time Ravana also had come with change of heart. We can see the mercy of the Lord here. If Vibheeshana alone comes only four more Demons would be saved; but if Ravana comes, the entire demon population of Lanka would be saved. He was prepared to accept even Ravana, despite his great sin.
  • Vatsalyam - appropriating our bad qualities as good ones; like a mother showering affection on her child. Not merely He overlooks our defects, but appropriates them as good gestures and saves us. Whatever we do are all full of defects and if God wanted to save us only if we did any good action, then He will find it almost impossible to help us. So, He assumes good actions for our bad ones and helps us.
  • Souseelyam - even though He is in an exalted position, and we are at the rock bottom, this difference is immaterial to Him and He easily mingles with us. Guha, Monkey [Sugrreva] and Deman [Vibheeshana] were taken as brothers by Sri Rama, Prince of Ayodya. With ease He played with the children of Gokulam.
  • Oudharyam - unlimited charity. Gifting whatever one needed - robes for Draupati, Kingdom for Yudhishtra, kainkaryam [service of the Lord] for Vibheeshana, saving the child in the womb of Uthara and so many more. We see normally people donating and publicizing. The Lord gifts so many and still feels what He had given is insufficient.
All these qualities can not be seen in atman. So Paramatma stands superior to mere atnan. In addition to these He has some more great qualities.
  • Sarva smathrayamiyatvam - revered by everybody. Analochita asesha visesha loka sharanyan - He is worshiped by everyone, be a monkey or bear or hunter or elephant or great sage like Vasishta or even Brahma. It also shows His approachability by anyone and everyone.
  • Pranathartiharatvam - quality of removing all the harms and supporting His devotees.
  • Aasritha vatsalyaika jaladi - parental affinity and love of spouse. But these relationships we see in this world occur in a particular birth only; while He is associated with the soul for ever and so even in the infinite births the soul takes, He continues to show the same affection every time.
  • Akila manuja nayana vishayatangadatvam - Residing in that very high position of Vaikuntam, He takes many avatars like a Fish or Tortoise or Boar or Lion and is available for ordinary persons like us to have that wonderful experience. So simple He is. But in every such avatars, He never loses any of His great qualities. As the son of Vasudeva, He delighted everyone. His image brilliance was felt all over. He nurtured everyone by His image.
We can clearly see that none of the exalted or the simplicity qualities of the Lord can be attributed to atman. We respected atman for its superiority to body. But compared to Paramatma, atman is very much inferior. Why then so much about atman was praised in the more than two hundred slokas? Unless we know how great atman is, we can not appreciate the greatness of the Lord residing in our atman as Paramatma. Atman is servant to God and is under the reign of Sri Krishna, have to be understood. Our superiority lies in understanding that we are subservient to God. So we have to tread in the path of Bhakti and reach Vaikuntam and serve Him, Who is far superior to our atman. We will have to now see which will take us to Moksham -Gyana or Bhakti?

No comments: