Faith

To know and experience

The Supreme Brahman is hailed as Nirguna and thus beyond the grasp of the human mind, intellect and senses. Then does it not imply that there is no way at all by which human beings can realise Him? Yet the Upanishads and scriptures also claim that He is realised by those in whom He reveals Himself in myriad ways. The Azhwars hymns prove this truth for, in them there is a record of their experiences of their close communion with Him in His Archa and Vibhava forms. It is possible to feel the vibrations of the Lord’s subtle presence when one empathises with them, pointed out Kalyanapuram Sri R. Aravamudhachariar in a discourse.

Take for instance Periazhwar’s hymns that reflect his enjoyment of the infant and boyhood stages of Krishna from Yasodha’s stance. The predominant motherly feeling in them provides an exceptional experience. On hearing that Krishna had rescued them miraculously from a raging forest fire, Yasodha’s heart bemoans her own negligence when everyday she sends her child out in the sun but does not provide an umbrella or any footwear against the heat and rains. Would not His tender feet become sore while walking barefoot on the grounds, she wonders.

A similar sentiment is echoed by Kulasekhara Azhwar in his hymns on Rama. Rama had pacified Bharata and made him accept His Padukas as His representative to rule the kingdom during the exile. The Azhwar imagines the untold difficulties Rama would have experienced after giving away His sandals. His hymns make one sensitive to the Lord’s suffering on this count.


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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 1:38:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/religion-november-21-2014-to-know-and-experience/article6618771.ece

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