Faith

Mahavishnu’s patience

Once rishis who were performing yagas wanted to know to which god they should offer havis. It was decided that the one with the most sattvic qualities should be the one to receive havis, said V.S. Karunakarachariar in a discourse. Sage Bhrigu was assigned the task of determining which of the gods was the most tolerant and not prone to anger, for tolerance and patience come from sattva guna.

Bhrigu first visited Satyaloka, the abode of Brahma. Brahma was not pleased with the sudden entry of Bhrigu. Angered by Brahma’s attitude, Bhrigu cursed him and said that henceforth no one would build temples for Brahma. Bhrigu’s next stop was Lord Siva’s abode. Although Nandi tried to stop the sage, he paid no heed to Nandi. In Kailasa too, Bhrigu did not get the welcome he had expected. Angered, he next went to the milky ocean, in which Lord Vishnu reclined. He aimed a kick at Vishnu’s chest, and Vishnu got up and apologised to the sage! He said that by kicking Him, the sage’s foot might have been hurt. He washed the sage’s foot with water. He further said that He would proudly protect the bruise on His chest, caused by the sage’s kick. Astounded by this reception to a sinful act, the sage concluded that no god could be as forgiving and patient as Vishnu. So, he went back to the other sages and told them that havis should be offered to Vishnu.

In any case, it is Vishnu who resides inside everyone, and so even if havis is offered to some other devata, it reaches the Lord. There is a Subhasita, which says – AkAsAt patitam tOyam yathA gacchati sAgaram/ sarva deva namaskArah Kesavam prati gacchati. This means all the rain water ultimately reaches the ocean. Likewise, no matter to whom a prayer is offered, it ultimately reaches Lord Kesava.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 7:19:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/mahavishnus-patience/article30322407.ece

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