Faith

Moksha is here!

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Thirumangai Azhvar’s idea of moksha is worshipping in temples, where the Lord has taken residence in archa (idol) form. Has anyone who has attained moksha come back to describe it for us? But our temples are here, right before us, and they are easy of access too. Why then should one aspire for something unseen is his question. Thirumangai Azhvar says that aspiring to go to a place no one has reported on is like begging for food, when grains lie scattered all round. When grains are available in plenty, what is the need to beg for alms? When deities in temples are here on this earth and within reach, what is the need to try to go to some other place? Thirumangai Azhvar’s attitude to moksha is similar to that of Hanuman, said Kidambi Narayanan, in a discourse.

When the Rama avatara ends, Lord Rama asks Hanuman to come with Him to Paramapada, His divine abode. Hanuman then asks, “Will I be able to listen to Ramayana discourses in Sri Vaikuntha? Will You have a bow and arrow there?” In short, Hanuman wants to know if he can see the Lord as Rama in Sri Vaikuntha. The Lord replies that in Sri Vaikuntha, He is seen as Paramapadanatha and will not appear as Rama. To Hanuman, it is Rama who appeals, and so Sri Vaikuntha holds no charm for him. So, he tells Rama, that he would rather stay back on earth, listening to Rama’s name being chanted and listening to the Ramayana being narrated. Just as Hanuman’s heart was full of the vibhava avatara of the Lord, Thirumangai Azhvar’s heart was full of the various archa forms of the Lord that he saw in temples. Tondaradippodi Azhvar says that worshipping the green hued, coral lipped, lotus-eyed Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam is preferable to Sri Vaikuntha.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:05:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/moksha-is-here/article22444509.ece

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