Faith

Divine will prevails

Scriptures, the Puranas and the Itihasas speak in one voice that the divine name has infinite power, especially in Kali Yuga, and so entreat people to chant the names at all times. In this context, the impact and influence of the Ajamila episode has given rise to discussions on many issues such as devotion, faith, sin, punishment, grace, pardon, etc. If the Nama has the infinite power to not only absolve one of all sins, but also purify by removing any lingering tendency to sin, is bhakti bhava being sidelined?

In a discourse, Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal drew attention to Adi Sankara’s pertinent observation about the efficacy of the Lord’s names in his introduction to the Vishnu Sahasranama commentary. The acharya says even if the names are uttered without bhakti bhava, it will certainly ward off sin, but the fruits will be less. In one’s own interest there should be conscious cultivation of practices of sravana, manana, kirtana, etc. Moreover, bhakti bhava takes root and grows strong with His grace alone. In the Sivanandalahari, the acharya shows that there is nothing that cannot be achieved through bhakti, when he describes how the Lord is moved by the selfless devotion that dominates the hunter Kannappan’s unconventional way of worship. To those who doubt the claim of efficacy of the Lord’s Nama, interpreters point out that the episode highlights the Supremacy of Divine Will. When the compassionate Lord chooses to bless the devotee none can stand in the way of His Divine Sankalpa. Rama makes known that His vow to protect all beings is the foremost of His concerns. The Katopanishad states that the desire to know Brahman should be strong in the jiva; but it is equally important that Brahman enables the sparkling of Brahma Jnana in whomsoever He chooses to grace.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 5:53:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/divine-will-prevails/article36506774.ece

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