Faith

Kindness of Azhvars

Only if we have knowledge about something can we become attached to it. If we have jnana about the Supreme One, we develop bhakthi towards Him. So, knowledge about the Supreme One is the first step towards liberation, said Kidambi Narayanan in a discourse. Can samsaris impart this knowledge to us? They are themselves ignorant. How then can they tell us about the Paramatma?

Vedanta Desika gives an example to explain this. Suppose a man falls into a well, and finds himself at a depth of 36 feet. He calls out to his companion for help. His friend says, “I have also fallen in. But I am only at a depth of 30 feet.” The fact that one of them is about six feet above the other does not mean that he is going to be able to help the other. Likewise, one samsari cannot help another to acquire jnana. Pillai Lokachariar in his Mumukshuppadi, says samsaris do not know themselves; they do not know God; they do not know anything about serving God. And they are unaware that they do not know any of these things!

God is the only who can liberate us. Imagine two men in prison. Can one of them let out the other? But if the king decides to free them, he can, because he alone has the power to do so. In the same way, it is Lord Narayana who grants us moksha. And Azhvars, who had the blissful experience of bhakthi, wanted everyone to have the same experience. So, they composed verses which are full of advice for us. Although we have not asked them, they have voluntarily given us advice out of kindness through their works. To advise, one must have had experience. Azhvars are competent to advise us. Nammazhvar sets us an example when he commands his heart to worship the Lord always, showing the importance of keeping our thoughts turned towards Him constantly.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 11:55:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/kindness-of-azhvars/article31617395.ece

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