One of the songs in praise of Lord Mahavishnu in the Tamil work called Paripadal, describes Vishnu as the One who has existed forever, explained Sarala Rajagopalan, in a discourse. Therefore no one can gauge His antiquity, says this verse.

The poet offers his obeisance to the One who wields the sacred and powerful discus. Yet another verse in the Paripadal says that Vishnu is the heat in fire. He is the fragrance in flowers. Among precious gems, He is the ruby. Among words and speech, He represents the quality of truthfulness. Among the qualities worth possessing, He represents the quality of love. He is the valour that is inherent in the hand that wields weapons and wages war. He is the mantras in the Vedas. He is the sky. He is the light and the heat of the Sun. He is the coolness characteristic of the Moon. He is present inside everything in this Universe.

He reforms those who do not keep to the right path. He helps those who bear love for Him. But He causes fear in the hearts of those who dislike Him. Their hearts are filled with dread when they behold Him. Whatever is good, Vishnu is all of that. Brahma owes his existence to Vishnu and Brahma is able to create only because of Vishnu’s grace.

The world needs rain-bearing clouds. Vishnu is inherent in these clouds. He is also inherent in the sky across which these clouds move. He is inherent in the earth.

Apart from the poets who penned verses seen in Paripadal, other poets too have described Vishnu in similar terms. Ilango Adigal, who wrote the Silappadikaram, refers to Vishnu as the tall, blue-hued One. Thondaradippodi Azhvar refers to Him as the One who has a body like a green mountain, as the One with lips the colour of corals, and eyes the colour of lotuses. Kambar, who wrote the Kamba Ramayanam, wonders if He is the colour of emerald, or the colour of dark, rain-giving clouds.

The Paripadal points out that the world is impermanent and is destroyed during the deluge. But even during the deluge, Vishnu remains unaffected. The world ends and has a fresh beginning. But as for the Lord, He goes on with no end.

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