Faith

Humility, an ennobling trait

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The Tiruppavai celebrates the glory of the Supreme Lord as much as that of a true devotee. Its emphasis is on the eternal quality of the relationship between them which, when internalised by the latter, equips him with absolute humility, pointed out Sri Rajahamsam Swami in a discourse. The Gopis in Ayarpadi are all soaked in thoughts of Krishna. They never tire of recalling His feats and His master plans by which He outwits Kamsa’s wily attempts to murder Him.

Andal shows that along with this devotion, it is important to realise that no one is infallible and that all are liable to faults. So, in one verse, when one Gopi accepts that she is at fault, and accepts this truth graciously and honestly, it generates the ennobling trait of humility. When one is humble, one finds that shortcomings and failures are inherent in human nature and one does not succumb to the sense of ego and pride. The true devotee knows his limitations and is also aware that this bhakti bhava in him is owing to the compassion of the Lord. In his inner self he is honest about it. One who is endowed with the bhava of humility is indeed the most fortunate person. For in him devotion and virtue can grow and thrive.

One who lacks humility loses all and is lost in the cycle of birth. In this context, Bharata exemplifies the virtue of absolute humility that is rooted in his faultless integrity. When Rama is exiled and Dasaratha dies, he is driven to a situation when though guiltless, he faces blame and censure from all. But such is his mental maturity that springs from his spontaneous love for Rama that he deals with this plight with tremendous dignity. He invokes on himself all kinds of punishment if he is guilty. But finally instead of blaming others, he blames himself for all this.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 6:20:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/humility-an-ennobling-trait/article30528548.ece

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