Faith

The prized possession

The exclusive quality of the Divya Prabandha hymns is the forceful way in which we are shaken out of our ignorance over many issues pertaining to our own welfare. In a discourse, Koil Sri Devarajan Swami drew attention to Tirumangai Azhwar’s life and works that are symbolic of God’s all pervading grace which is extended to all, regardless of individual merit. It is very natural for us to be swayed by worldly attractions and wealth. These and our attainments tend to make us filled with pride and ahamkara.

This was the state of Tirumangai Azhwar when he ruled over a small territory for a brief period. Azhwar confesses that by sheer God’s grace, he was not only made to realise his folly but also blessed to receive directly from Him the most prized asset, the Tirumantram. He cries out ecstatically, “I have now found that the ‘Divya Narayana Nama’ holds the key to eternal happiness that is sought by all.” Azhwar becomes a votary of God and his hymns convey his experiences of God’s grace as manifest in the archa, vibhava and antaryami forms. He realises the value of this wealth in comparison to all other kinds of worldly possessions. Since it is well secured and stored in the cave of one’s heart as stated in the Upanishads, it cannot be stolen. It is always available to the devout and can be used at any time.

But at times, like material wealth which can become a burden, this wealth can also be a cause of worry or anxiety when one gets distracted or distanced from God owing to the compulsions of samsara. A common sentiment expressed by the Azhwars is one of extreme regret when they do not think of God. They feel sad if they do not remember Him even for a moment. Is not Bharata distraught when he is separated from Rama?


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 2:34:37 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/the-prized-possession/article38298758.ece