Faith

Revelations to Azhvars

Pillai Lokachariar gives a list of many of Lord Narayana’s avataras. Among the other avataras in Pillai Lokachariar’s list is one called the Dadibhakta avatara. Dadi means curd. We might think it is a reference to the Krishna avatara. But Pillai Lokachariar mentions the Krishna avatara separately. So it is not clear what the Dadibhakta avatara is.

The Azhvars sometimes talk of incidents that do not find mention in the Puranas, said M.A. Venkatakrishnan in a discourse. Thirumangai Azhvar talks of one such incident. He has praised the deity of Sirkazhi, where the Lord is seen in His Trivikrama form. In one of his verses, praising this deity, Thirumangai Azhvar talks of the sage Romasa, so called because his body was covered with hair. The story about this sage is a peculiar one. Brahma was proud of the fact that none lived as long as he did. The Lord wanted to teach him a lesson. It so happened that a sage by name Romasa did penance with a view to being blessed with longevity. The Lord granted him his wish and added that for every hair that fell off his body, the life of a Brahma would end, and the sage himself would be alive until all his hair fell off! The life span of Brahma stretches to aeons compared to human life. And if one hair on the sage’s body was equal to the life span of one Brahma, then one can imagine how huge the sage’s life span would be!

This story about Romasa, however, is not to be found in any Purana. The Puranas were written by sages, who were blessed by Brahma. But Brahma is not immortal, as one Brahma is replaced by another. But the Azhvars were blessed by Lord Narayana Himself, and their verses came because of His blessings. So, the Lord must have revealed to the Azhvars incidents that even the sages did not know of.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 11:54:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/revelations-to-azhvars/article29100925.ece

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