Faith

Bhakti Anubhuti

Generally, both joy and sorrow are strong emotional states and can cause tears to flow. It is a physical manifestation of one’s inner reaction. The reasons may be varied, such as hunger, or sorrow, pain, longing, and so on. Or it may be caused when one is overcome by pity, compassion and so on. In the case of great devotees, it is an overwhelming feeling arising from the awareness of the Supreme Bliss of God realisation.

As a skilled poet, the devout Sekkizhar is able to empathise with the devotional experience of the Nayanmars. This is very clear in his vivid narration of the scene wherein the child Gnanasambandar is blessed by the Lord and Goddess Uma, pointed out Sri R. Asokan in a discourse. The narration is realistic, picturesque and also reveals how devotion, which is a unique blend of the physical with the emotional and the mental states, can transcend to reach an experience beyond all these.

Gnanasambandar is a mere child of three, who accompanies his father to the temple. The father places the child on the banks of the temple tank and dives into the waters for his ablutions. The child becomes restless and begins to cry aloud. First the tears start to flow from his eyes and the child brings its palms together and begins to wail aloud.

Sekkizhar is able to experience the child’s agitated state even as he captures the natural response of the compassionate Lord and Goddess Uma who are the divine parents for the entire creation. Siva and Uma see the crying child, and, moved by compassion, take on the role of the child’s parents. The Lord asks Goddess Uma to give milk to the child who is appeased and also is endowed with the rare gift of enlightenment.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 3:23:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/bhakti-anubhuti/article33864421.ece

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