Faith

A devotee is enslaved

Sundaramurthy Nayanar is the central focus and lead in the Periyapuranam. Sekkizhar brings out through subtle strokes the ways in which Sundarar’s bhakti blends into close friendship with the Lord, pointed out K. Kalaivanan in a discourse. It is the Lord’s wish that Sundarar, who was engaged in His personal service in Kailasa, should be born on earth to make known the infinite value of the various kinds of devotion evinced by the Nayanmars through hymns. Sundarar is aware of the trappings of worldly life and pleads with the Lord to guide him into the path of devotional service and not let him go astray.

Sundarar is born as the son of Sadayanar and Isaignaniyar and is not aware of his life in Kailasa. But the compassionate Lord chooses the time and manner for redeeming him and enters into his life in the guise of an old Brahmin when Sundarar’s wedding is to take place. His impressive demeanour makes a deep impact on all the people and He is received with due honours. Without mincing matters, the Lord claims Sundarar as His slave by showing a document signed by Sundarar’s grandfather Arooran, where he has pledged himself and his progeny to the Lord’s service. Sekkizhar reveals the law practices of those times that relied on traditional practice or precedent, written evidence, and oral attestation. Sundarar is unwilling to accept this claim and tears up the document.

To settle this issue, the Lord leads them to Tiruvennainalloor. He produces the original document and the grandfather’s signature is verified. Sundarar then accedes to the Lord. Siva and Parvati then grant a vision to Sundarar, who becomes enlightened about his antecedents and is immersed in their boundless compassion.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 2:12:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/a-devotee-is-enslaved/article33620585.ece

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