Every individual has to contend with the constant clash between the desire for salvation and desires for worldly attainments.
When Kardama Prajapati, born of the shadow of Brahma, was instructed to propagate the human race, he began meditating on the Lord for ten thousand years. Pleased with his penance, the Lord, mounted on Garuda appeared before him. Kardama was overwhelmed at this vision and burst forth in eulogy of the Lord. The Lord blessed him and said he would marry Devahuti, the daughter of Swayambhuva Manu and that he would have nine daughters. The Lord also told him that He would be born as the tenth child Kapila. The Lord’s munificence is boundless and it is the Jivatma’s good fortune that this bounty far exceeds what one deserves, said Sri V. S. Karunakarachariar in a lecture. Not only is He ready to grant the wishes of His devotees, but He is also keen to mitigate their sorrows. Azhwars and Acharyas have extolled this compassion where the Lord’s gifts appear disproportionate to the merits of the devotee. Even a small act like doing an Anjali, a gesture beseeching Him with folded palms is enough to melt Him with grace and concern.
A jivatma’s natural tendency is to seek God through devotion and human birth is ideally suited for devotional practices that will lead us to salvation. But this natural tendency gets disrupted when the artificial trappings of the world beckon and distract us from our purpose.
Kardama, whose vision of the Lord would have given him salvation, was granted the purpose of his penance — married life. The marriage of Kardama and Devahuti was arranged by God’s will. Devahuti served Kardama with faith. She helped in his penance. Kardama was involved in worship of the Lord and then realised the passing of time. He then decided to plunge into domestic life and nine daughters were born to the couple. When Kardama wanted to renounce life, he remembered that the Lord would be born to him and awaited His birth. Devahuti worshipped the Lord with devotion and gave birth to Kapila.