Faith

Nectar personified

Abirami Bhattar refers to Ambal as nectar. Nectar is said to confer immortality on those who consume it. When the ocean was churned, Lord Siva took Halahala poison. Ancient Tamil Nadu was classified into different regions, each with its own climate and vegetation. Dry, desert-like areas came under the classification known as paalai. In Silappadikaram, there is a verse which says that in the paalai region, hunters worshipped Goddess Kotravai. The verse says that the Goddess Herself consumed the Halahala poison, said M.A. Manickavelu in a discourse. The devas were afraid of the poison that came from the ocean. They took nectar, thinking it would keep them alive forever. But it did not. But the Goddess took the poison, and continues to remain untroubled by the poison. She is indestructible, and She is the One who blesses even the devas, who are destined to die and to be reborn. That is why Abirami Bhattar says that She is nectar personified.

The pancha bhutas constitute Her divine body. One of the names of Ambal in Lalitha Sahasranama is Panchabhuthesi. Lord Siva dances in the forest. Even after the world is destroyed, this Cosmic dance goes on. This dance is known as Pandaranga. Siva gladly bears on His head the feet of Ambal. The idea that the beloved of a deity could put her feet on her Lord’s head, is seen in an incident in poet Jayadeva’s life. He penned a verse, where he said that Radha, the Gopika, put her feet on Krishna’s head. Then thinking it was sinful to write such a verse, Jayadeva abandoned the verse. But when he returned from his bath, he found the same verse put back. Lord Krishna had come as Jayadeva and had written the verse again, showing that He accepted the idea of Radha placing her feet on His head.


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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 7:49:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/nectar-personified/article65589252.ece