Faith

Undesirable pleasures

It takes discerning capacity to know good from bad. Some people are so full of desire, that they cannot tell good from bad. So, they hanker after what they should not, and never think of what they should in fact be seeking, said M.A. Manickavelu in a discourse. Vallalar makes this clear in his Deivamanimalai, which is in praise of Lord Muruga, the deity of Kanda Kottam, in Chennai. Suppose water in which rice has been cooked is stored in a place for many days, it begins to stink and becomes useless. Imagine a place where such water is stored. If a man desires it, what will we think of him?

Desiring worldly pleasures is like desiring this stinking water, for material possessions are akin to the stinking water. And yet there are those who think that such pleasures are like nectar. To attain these passing joys, they do not hesitate to do wrong. Uttering untruths becomes second nature to them.

Avvaiyar says in one of her verses, that if a person gives false evidence in court, then his house will be overrun with weeds, and Moodevi will take up residence in his house. Vallalar gives the example of a flower, to push home the point about how the wicked seek worldly happiness. He talks of a particular flower, whose petals are gentle. When the wind blows, the flower sways and its gentle petals suffer. Before gold jewels can be made, the gold is heated to make it malleable, and then it is shaped. The different pieces are then soldered, and finally the jewel is polished. The gold thus goes through many stages before it becomes a beautiful piece of jewellery. Like the flower that suffers due to the breeze and the gold that goes through painful processes, so do those who lack virtue torture themselves seeking pleasures.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 12:08:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/undesirable-pleasures/article29789494.ece

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