Faith

Ambal — Vedas personified

Abirami Bhattar, in his Abirami Andadi, says Goddess Tripurasundari is like the Upanishads, said M.A. Manickavelu in a discourse. The Vedas have two kandas — karma kanda and jnana kanda. Karma kanda deals with rituals, like performance of yagas, mantras to be recited at these times etc. The jnana kanda deals with liberation of the atma, and thus is concerned with philosophical matters, and not with ritualistic ones. It is the jnana kanda which is relevant at all times.

For instance, in the modern world, most of the yagas prescribed in the Vedas are not being performed. But the desire to understand Brahman, the Supreme Truth, is present in all generations. This desire to understand Brahman and to attain moksha will continue in future generations too. Bhattar compares Ambal to this jnana kanda segment of the Vedas. The Vedas are always relevant, and the Goddess who is seen as an embodiment of the Vedas is ever youthful. One of the names of Ambal in Lalitha Sahasranama is Veda Janani. The Pranava mantra is fundamental to the Vedas and it is said that everything came from pranava. Ambal is the embodiment of this pranava.

The Vedas may be compared to the all-giving Kalpaka tree. While describing the Vedic aspect of Ambal, Bhattar says She is like the middle portion of this tree, the top portion and the root. The top and middle portions of a tree are visible to the eye. But we cannot see the root, and you need to put in some effort to get to the root. Brahma tattva is similar to this. That is why Bhattar first talks of the middle and top portions and then mentions the root. You must meditate and contemplate on God to understand Brahma tattva. Kumaraguruparar in his Meenakshi Pillai Tamizh glorifies Ambal as the substance of the Vedas.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 1:28:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/ambal-vedas-personified/article37346606.ece

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