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Friday Review » Faith

Updated: December 14, 2009 02:01 IST

Goddess Mahalakshmi mediates

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Dressed as Lord Krishna on serpent ‘Kaleeya’, Goddess Padmavathi rides on ‘Muthyapu Pandiri Vahanam’ at Tiruchanur in Tirupati on Sunday, as part of the annual Kartheeka Brahmotsavams recently. Photo: K.V. Poornachandra Kumar
THE HINDU
Dressed as Lord Krishna on serpent ‘Kaleeya’, Goddess Padmavathi rides on ‘Muthyapu Pandiri Vahanam’ at Tiruchanur in Tirupati on Sunday, as part of the annual Kartheeka Brahmotsavams recently. Photo: K.V. Poornachandra Kumar

While in common parlance, the word ‘Purusha’ is taken to mean a male, it has a more significant meaning in the context of Sri Vaishnava philosophy. ‘Puru’ means plenty. Purusha is the One who gives abundantly. The Purusha is Lord Narayana, and He gives plentifully because of His Consort. She is the One who makes Him give. Without Her to intercede on our behalf, Lord Narayana would not be the generous giver that He is, said M. A. Venkatakrishnan.

When a child wants something, the child approaches its mother, who then asks her husband to get for the child what it wants. A mother gives more readily than a father, who is less indulgent towards the children. In the same way, the Lord is the One who gives, but He gives only because Goddess Mahalakshmi asks Him to.

Kakasura was an asura who took the form of a crow and pecked Sita Devi’s breast. Angered Rama fired an arrow at him, and the arrow chased the asura, who finally took refuge at the Lord’s feet. The Lord forgave Kakasura and let him off with a minor punishment, because Sita Devi, the embodiment of compassion was by His side. But Ravana is shown no mercy, for, when Ravana faces Rama in battle, Sita Devi is not by the Lord’s side. The Lord was separated from Sita Devi by Ravana, and Her absence results in no mercy being shown to Ravana.

The importance of seeking the Goddess’s mercy is clearly seen in Swami Nammazhvar’s ‘Agalagillaen’ pasuram. Here Azhvar says that the Goddess has taken up permanent residence in the Lord’s chest. The Goddess is not the One who is addressed in this verse. It is the Lord of Tirumala who is addressed in this verse. He is addressed as the One in whose chest Goddess Mahalakshmi has taken up residence with a vow never to leave Her abode. When She is guaranteed a place on the Lord’s chest, why does She have to repeat that She will not leave His chest? Here the Goddess is like a child who, even though it knows no one is going to take away its favourite doll, still keeps repeating its ownership of the doll. Likewise although the Goddess knows Her place on His chest is guaranteed, She still repeats that She will not budge from His chest.

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