Faith

Kind and severe

When there is a need to be severe, the Lord is severe with us. But at all other times, He showers His blessings on us and goes out of the way to keep us comfortable, said K. Sambandan in a discourse. Upamanyu, the son of Sage Vyagrapada, grew up in the house of his grandfather — Sage Vasishta. The divine cow — Kamadhenu — was with Sage Vasishta. So the child grew up drinking the milk of the divine cow.

After some years, Sage Vyagrapada brought the child to his house. Unfortunately, he was unable to provide milk for his son. The child, who was accustomed to having divine milk, cried out in hunger. Lord Siva was so moved by the child’s plight that He brought the milky ocean for the child to drink from. He could have just provided a glass of milk to the child everyday. But so great was His love and concern for the child that nothing short of an ocean of milk would do for the child!

But we see the same Siva in a punishing mood, in Ravana’s case. Ravana flying in his vimana, sees Mount Kailash as an obstacle, and decides to get it out of the way. He puts his hands beneath the mountain and tries to lift it. Lord Siva and Parvati are on the mountain, and angered by Ravana’s arrogance, Siva presses down on the mountain with the big toe of one of His feet. Ravana’s hands are trapped beneath the mountain, and he is unable to extricate them. Thus the same Siva, who brought an entire ocean of milk for a child, punishes when the need arises. Our bhakti brings forth His kindness. Our arrogance leads to our being punished.


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 7:48:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/religious-discourse-kind-and-severe/article6545414.ece

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