Faith

Dramatic description

The story of Garuda, given in the Mahabharata, is presented dramatically by Vedanta Desika, in his Garuda Panchasath, said V.S. Karunakarachariar in a discourse. When Garuda emerged out of the egg, he shone so brightly that the devas took fright, says Desika. They prayed to Garuda to reduce the intensity of his brightness. Desika prays that Garuda should get rid of the heat of samsara. Desika’s description of Garuda’s childhood reminds us of the mischievousness of children in general.

Children tend to throw things around just for fun. They love to play with water. They also like going up and down stairs. From Desika’s Garuda Panchasath, we find that Garuda was no different, except that his childish acts were altogether on a different scale. Mighty bird that he was, even as a child, he did things impossible even for an adult. A child throws things around and breaks them, and so did Garuda. But what did he fling? It was mountains that he broke as if they were playthings! Instead of emptying vessels of water, he disturbed the very oceans. And like a child running up and down stairs, Garuda moved from the netherworld to the world of Brahma. Desika prays that Garuda’s naughty acts as a child should destroy our problems.

When Garuda sets forth to fetch nectar, his mother Vinata equips him for the task. The raiment she provides is good conduct; jnana is the weapon she gives her son. Her blessings constitute his army. In the Ramayana, Dasaratha is reluctant to send Rama with Viswamitra, but relents. But for a man who was so worried about his son, why did he not send an army with Rama for His protection? That was because Dasaratha blessed Rama before He left, and what greater protection can anyone have than the blessing of parents?

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:37:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/dramatic-description/article31653669.ece

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