CHENNAI: Many scriptural works and hymns were composed by divine grace in unusual circumstances by saints and sages. Vyasa wrote the Bhagavata Purana to expound the glory of the Lord during His advent as Krishna at the behest of Narada when he did not feel satisfied even after compiling the Vedas and writing the Mahabharata. But its immense popularity is due to its exposition by his son Suka to Pareekshit when the king approached the sage with the request to show him the way to salvation cursed as he was to die in seven days' time by the bite of the serpent Takshaka.

In their discourse, Damal Sri Ramakrishnan and Srimathi Perundevi Seshadri said Pareekshit was lucky for he knew the time at his disposal to realise God. So he handed over his kingdom to his son Janamejaya and retired to the forest to atone for his sin. Suka narrated the Bhagavata Purana as learnt from his father to him in seven days. By the end of the week the king lost his fear of death and developed such unalloyed devotion that listening to the glory of the Lord turned out to be a double blessing as devotion to God is an end in itself. But others are not so lucky and hence a person who is desirous of liberation must not waste any time in taking necessary steps to realise this goal.

Narayana Bhattatiri composed the Narayaneeyam, a hymn condensing the Bhagavata Purana, to discharge his debt to his Guru who was afflicted by paralysis. Bhattatiri, who was a devoted disciple, prayed that the disease be transferred to him and it came to pass. He could not even move and when he consulted an astrologer he was advised to compose a hymn in praise of the incarnations of the Lord. He was carried to the shrine at Guruvayur and on the lines of the Bhagavata Purana composed a canto of verses (generally comprising 10 verses) a day and was blessed with the vision of the Lord on the 100th day. Each canto concludes with a prayer to cure him of the disease. Tradition has it that the deity accorded sanction to his composition at the end of each day. Bhattatiri actually felt grateful to his disease because of which his poetic skill was utilised to sing the Lord's glory instead of the king.