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Avatars' compassion - discourse reviews

nabadip - Sat, 30 Apr 2005 22:02:09 +0530
Boundless compassion

CHENNAI: It is the Lord's compassion that prompts Him to take incarnations, though the main purpose is to establish righteousness and quell evil. This comes out beyond any doubt on two occasions. In His incarnation as Lord Rama, at the time when Vibhishana sought His refuge, He vowed absolute protection to all those who came seeking His help. It was with an equal fervour he promised total protection to all when he as Lord Krishna advised Arjuna in the battlefield, with the oft quoted words, `Don't worry, repose faith in Me. I shall release you from all sins".

But in His incarnation as Varaha, when the Lord assumes the form of a boar to retrieve the earth that was hidden in the depths of the ocean by the demon Hiranyaksha, the compassion evinced by Bhumi Devi far surpasses that of the Lord, said Sri M.V. Ananatha Padmanabhacharyar in his discourse. The Lord, who had come out of Brahma's nostril as a tiny infant boar and then grew into the size of an elephant, went in search of the earth.

At the confrontation with Hiranyaksha, the Lord used the Sudarshana discus to kill the demon. It is at this point that Bhumi Devi, Herself an embodiment of patience and compassion, chooses to extract a promise from Lord Varaha, to take care of all the Jivatmas and offer refuge.

She is very much aware of the Lord's compassion towards the Jivatma. But she is also aware of the strictness He adopts in dealing with the consequences of the actions of human beings. Aren't there many opportunities for wrong doing in this life? The tempting comforts and pleasures of this world can easily make one opt out of an austere way of life. Hence the Jivatma is not able to release itself from the cycle of births and deaths, in spite of being aware that life on this earth is ephemeral, and that joy and sorrow alternate.

The Lord has no alternative but to cast the Jivatma back into the cycle of births and deaths. She pleads with the Lord to offer liberation to those suffering in this earth.

She requests Him to forget and pardon their lapses, and on the basis of any small good deed, offer salvation to all of them caught in this cycle. Her boundless concern for the suffering souls prompts Her to speak thus on their behalf.
nabadip - Sat, 30 Apr 2005 22:34:21 +0530
Grace of the Divine

CHENNAI: Given its fickle minded nature and its propensity to succumb to distractions and temptations of this material world, it is not easy to direct the human mind towards the spiritual. Though it is suggested that by physically removing oneself from the pulls of the world and retreating to the forest can help in meditation, this alone cannot ensure concentration. What really matters is the conditioning of the mind. More than where we live, it is what we do and what we think, that is important.

Conversely, for an evolved person, it is also possible to meditate on the spiritual even while living in the midst of worldly distractions with family, kith and kin. The case of Bharata is an illustration of such a person, who was able to renounce the comforts of the palace and adopt the ascetic way of life in Ayodhya, during the fourteen years of Rama's exile, said Sri Raguveera Bhattachari in his lecture.

Basically God's grace is necessary for our every effort to meditate on Him, for directing our thoughts towards Him. We have to petition to God to make our efforts to think of Him effective. Effort and practice, with the thought that it is He who is responsible for all, can be the best method.

It is important to be aware that the grace of the Divine is the cause of all achievements, accomplishments and success, and that this alone is the guiding force of all existence. Though this truth is felt, it goes unacknowledged many a time, because it is tempting to think that achievements are the result of one's personal efforts.

The animal and plant world constantly affirm the presence of the grace of the divine. Does not the pig display such motherly instincts when it prepares the soft earth for the little ones it is going to litter?

Who has lent the high-flying eagle the sharpness of sight to spot the prey in the deep waters even from an extraordinary height?

The rakshasa Viradha, after
nabadip - Sat, 30 Apr 2005 22:56:38 +0530
Rationale of an incarnation

CHENNAI, APRIL 11 . Among the various incarnations of the Supreme Being in this world that assumed in the form of a man-lion, Narasimha, was undertaken to prove the word of a child-devotee who reposed implicit faith in Him. The Puranas and the hymns of mystics wax eloquent on the singular devotion of this child, Prahlada, who withstood unimaginable torture at the hands of his own father for being devoted to the Lord. And what did this child do when the Almighty granted him a boon? He beseeched Him to pardon his father and redeem him. Why should such an exemplary devotee be born as the son of one who hated the Lord so much? The Puranas highlight that it was the divine will that Prahlada was born as the son of Hiranyakasipu.

In his discourse, Sri P.R.Vaidyanatha Sastrigal said the Bhagavata Purana described the Lord's manifestation as undertaken to validate Prahlada's trust in Him. The Purana states, "In order to substantiate the utterance of His servant and His presence in all objects, the Lord appeared in the pillar of the court, assuming a queer form, which was neither of a beast nor of a human being." Hiranyakasipu in anger had struck a pillar when Prahlada kept insisting that the Almighty was omnipresent and He had no choice but to emerge from that very pillar.

Though this manifestation was for the sake of Prahlada, the Supreme Being at once kept His promise to His attendants, Jaya and Vijaya, who were also His devotees, and He also fulfilled the creator, Brahma's boon to Hiranyakasipu. When Jaya and Vijaya stopped Sanaka and other sages from entering Lord Vishnu's abode they cursed them to be born in the world. When they beseeched them to mitigate its effect they were given the choice of being born thrice as haters of God and the Lord promised to liberate them during His incarnations. In the Varaha and Narasimha incarnations He thus liberated Jaya and Vijaya who were born as the brothers Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu. To avenge his brother's death Hiranyakasipu performed intense penance and obtained a boon from Brahma setting many conditions to ensure that it would be impossible to kill him. Hence the Almighty had to incarnate for his sake also, as he was His devotee. The thrust of the Vishnu Purana is Prahlada's exceptional devotion and the Lord's incarnation is incidental to the narration. Another variation in this Purana is the reconciliation of father and son after Prahlada sought God's pardon when he was blessed with His vision.