Faith

Vibhava experiences

In the Gita, the Lord explains the purposes of His incarnations, namely, to protect the good, to destroy the evil doers, and to establish dharma. Apart from the ten main avatars of the Lord, acharyas have pointed out that there are many more when God intervenes for these purposes. Vedanta Desika shows that His avatars give the jivatmas the chance to experience His auspicious qualities and His greatness, pointed out Asuri Sri Madhavachariar in a discourse. For it is true that He can accomplish all these purposes and whatsoever He wishes by His mere Sankalpa and from His abode, the Parama Pada, without choosing to be born in this world.

Paratva is His swaroopa in Parama Pada which is the experience of the Nityasuris and Muktatmas. But the Vibhava experiences available to the jivatma are unique and precious. It is not only enjoyed by those who had the great fortune to live contemporaneously but to the entire posterity. For even today, as is seen in the hymns of azhwars, we continue to be overwhelmed and moved emotionally when contemplating, for instance, the extent to which Krishna goes to help the Pandavas; or when we wonder at the ease with which He mingles with the simple folk in Ayarpadi. What Saulabhya in stealing butter and trying to escape being caught and then allowing Yasodha to catch Him, and bind Him to the grinding stone with a rope? There is no end to such experiences of His auspicious qualities that draw us to Him and enable us to seek Him. He seems to indicate, “I am your permanent friend and relation and you should always be with Me. I may be the Paramatma, but I am available to all of you without any exception.” As the antaryami in all beings, He can be bound by true bhakti; but He remains aloof to those who are not his bhaktas.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 6:07:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/vibhava-experiences/article35731410.ece

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