Faith

Committed to protect

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The Lord’s incarnations serve specific purposes. When evil and atrocities become uncontrollable, He intervenes at the opportune moment to restore balance in the universe. The Lord alone can achieve this.

In a lecture, Damal Sri Ramakrishnan pointed out that Rama Avatar was in response to the prayer of the celestial beings led by Brahma, who were unable to withstand the atrocities of the powerful Ravana. The Lord assured them that soon He would find a solution to their problem and had to plan His birth as a human being in this case.

The Lord’s birth is not governed by Karma as ours is. He wills himself to be born and chooses His parents, place and time suitably. Dasaratha's Putrakameshti yaga was in progress and the Lord chose Dasaratha as His father. Sage Valmiki says that the Lord descended as the embodiment of Dharma in Rama and the Vedas incarnated as the Ramayana.

The vow of protection that the Lord extends to all those who seek His refuge is made explicit when He accepts Vibhishana from the enemy camp. He promises that even if one seeks His help without sincerity or in the guise of comradeship or even with enmity, He is ready to accept him regardless of his intent.

In contrast, in His incarnation as Narasimha, Brahma’s boon to the demon had to be observed to the letter if Prahlada was to be saved. So the Lord incarnated as half man and half lion, chose the time of sunset when it is neither evening nor night, and killed the demon with his nails casting him on his lap.

Though brief, this incarnation demonstrates His powerful presence and His sensitive alertness to the prayers of His devotees. Hiranyakashipu thought he was invincible because of the boons he had received through performance of severe austerities. He belittled all the celestial beings including Lord Narayana.

When his son refused to accept him as the supreme lord and insisted on the supremacy of Narayana, the demon did not hesitate to threaten the child with the most unheard of tortures.

Prahlada’s faith and implicit belief in His all-pervading all-knowing and all-powerful qualities brought about this unique incarnation.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 11:21:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/committed-to-protect/article3795975.ece

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