Faith

The supremacy of Narayana

It is very clear from the scriptures, puranas, itihasas, etc, that many great devotees and tatva jnanis have sought God and attained Him, though His undoubted Supremacy puts a distance between Him and the entire creation, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse. Vibhishana, a true bhakta, aware of Rama’s Paratva, seeks refuge in Him. To him, Rama is a Mahatma and the ‘Sarva Loka Saranyan.’ Sugriva initially sees Rama as a friend but becomes a bhakta in due course. The simple folk such as Guha, Sabhari, Jatayu, also have an innate sense of Rama’s Paratva. The rishis in Dandakaranya surrender to Rama and seek His protection.

The same epic shows that even one who deserves to be punished is pardoned and graced by the Divine Dampati. This is the case of Kakasura. His act of unpardonable transgression against Sita incites Rama’s ire to aim an arrow at him. Chased by it, he runs from pillar to post through all the worlds and is unable to find any help. He comes back to Rama and lies prostrate at His feet. Sita intercedes and positions the bird’s head to face Rama’s feet to indicate the act of surrender. Rama lets him off by taking away one eye.

Smritis proclaim the supremacy of Narayana and explain it in two ways etymologically. It is shown that the term Narayana is a compound word, comprising ‘Naara’ and ‘ayana.’ In one sense, the word ‘Naara’ refers to water and ‘ayana’ to abode. Water has its origin from ‘Nara’ the Lord. The water became His abode the ‘ayana,’ and hence He is known as Narayana. ‘Naara’ has another sense as well in that it refers to the entire multitude of jivas. The term ‘ayana’ in this context is interpreted as ‘ultimate goal’ for all the jivas; also that the whole host of jivas has its abode in Him, indicative of His all pervasiveness.  


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2022 3:03:59 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/the-supremacy-of-narayana/article65678029.ece