Faith

Significance of Paavai Nombu

The Vedas acclaim that yagna, performance of sacrificial rites, and dhana, charity are a means to know the Brahman. The idea is that the heart becomes purified by adherence to the prescribed specific duties and rules of conduct that these entail. The Paavai Nombu Andal undertakes with her companions is a unique yagna not only in terms of austere practices but also in its purpose, pointed out Sri P.T. Seshadri in a discourse. It is solely for the welfare of the world and for attaining the Lord who is the highest Purushartha unlike certain yagnas that are performed for specific material gains such as the Aswamedha for unrivalled victory or the Nikumbala for destruction of enemies. Moreover, many of the ideals such as being righteous and ethical, leading life in a selfless manner, practising ahimsa, doing every action as a sacrifice, etc, are what Andal indicates as the very essence of upholding the Paavai Nombu. If by the Lord’s grace, one understands the goal to be attained is Narayana and also the means to this is the very Lord Himself, then one’s way of life becomes a yagna. Andal sees this world as a wonderful creation of the Lord and the people living in it as fortunate and blessed not because of the worldly attractions but because of the chance of salvation it affords. She knows the extent of the power of worldly attractions to tempt one to commit sins and remain in the bondage of samsara. She urges the jivatmas to become recipients of His infinite compassion by leading life in this earth as a yagna and not fritter away this chance. Propitiating the Lord residing in Parkadal, and singing His glories help to scorch the evil effects of one’s sins as easily as dirt is scorched by fire.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 6:56:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/Significance-of-Paavai-Nombu/article16947610.ece

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