Friday Review » Faith

Updated: October 23, 2009 01:03 IST

The Lord’s infinite glory

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The Vishnu Purana highlights the glory of Lord Vishnu and is in the form of a dialogue between the Sages Parashara and Maitreya. The Puranas reiterate the efficacy of seeking refuge in the Lord’s feet as the only means for salvation. This act is called Saranagati or Prapatti and has six divisions — promising to oneself to do only those things that would please God, (Anukoolyasya Sankalpam), refraining from doing those things that are not permitted in the Sastras, (Pratikoolyasya Varjanam), accepting with total faith God as the only protector (Mahavishvasam), understanding the enormous glory of God that sustains and maintains at all times (Goptrutva Varnam), surrendering everything without any misgivings to God (Atma Nikshepa) and cultivating absolute humility because of awareness of the truth of one’s helplessness in protecting oneself(Karpanyam).

In a lecture, Sri Venkatesa Sarma pointed out that the knowledge of God’s greatness is the cause for stirring the Bhakti Bhava and this Bhava is best manifest in the devout who venerate and love God with single-mindedness. In this path, the Jivatma thus accepts God’s greatness and surrenders unconditionally to Him.

Sage Parashara extols the Lord’s omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence and He is constantly engaged in the tasks of creation, maintenance and dissolution. The epithet Bhagavan describes His unique qualities -- one who possesses unlimited knowledge (Jnana), energy (Shakti), strength (Bala), opulence (Aishwarya), heroism (Virya) and splendour (Tejas) with a total lack of negative qualities. It is also shown that the Lord, who is without beginning or end , still engages in this act of creation, etc., in the manner of a play or Lila. He is subtler than the subtlest, and the entire universe is his body.

Spiritual tradition places a high value on the faith of the devout in the Lord’s unfailing succour. When Draupadi sought refuge in Lord Krishna to save her from the impending threat to her modesty, it was sure enough the Lord, who, though not physically present in the assembly at Hastinapura, sent her the necessary help to save her from further distress.

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