Faith

The sole refuge

People, wealth, fame, status, learning, etc, may not be of any avail in times of crisis, while faith, prayer and worship define an individual’s equation with the Lord, pointed out Sri Kesava Dikshitar in a discourse.

In the case of Draupadi, she has everything and everybody with her when she needs help. She is the queen of the king who had performed Rajasuya yaga. But all this is not sufficient to rescue her from her extraordinary and unexpected plight at that moment. In the Govinda Damodhara Stotra, the poet Bilvamangala draws attention to this heart wrenching scene of Draupadi being dragged to the court and of her utter helplessness in the situation. She appeals to the elders in the assembly not to forsake her in this horrible situation, which is more brutal than death. The Pandava brothers are unable to stall this injustice. She pins all her hopes in her faith in divine mercy and succour. Her call is to the Highest and Supreme power, the sole refuge whom she adores and trusts. The way she is saved when her modesty is outraged is sheer proof of her unshakable faith in the Lord.

In the case of Gajendra, during the course of his long drawn struggle against the crocodile’s hold, he realises that when neither relatives nor friends can solve an individual’s problem, there is always unfailing help for all from the Primordial source of all creation. Bilvamangala bemoans that even though people have the ability to chant the Lord’s names, no one does and thus are led towards their own undoing. He repeatedly instructs his tongue to just drink the nectar of these names, Govinda, Damodhara and Madhva. None can fathom the efficacy of these names which are a sure safeguard against evil and also promise salvation.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 2:13:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/The-sole-refuge/article16075745.ece

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