God’s compassion

CHENNAI: With the passing of each age (Yuga) the means to realise God has become increasingly easier that in this Kali yuga it is possible to attain liberation by chanting the Divine name and singing His glory. These easy practices are the sure means to develop devotion to Him. The Supreme Being revealed the Vedas to teach the ways for realising Him and the Dharmasastras were composed by the sages for practising the teachings in day-to-day life. The Lord incarnated in human form as Rama to show by example how they should be followed and as Krishna to teach them.

In their discourse, Damal Sri Ramakrishnan and Srimathi Perundevi Seshadri said when humanity did not follow His teachings and became enmeshed more and more in worldly life, the Lord out of compassion graced the Azhwars with wisdom and made them compose the hymns of the Nalayira Divyaprabandham in Tamil so that even the lay people would benefit by their teachings. These hymns highlight the Almighty’s inimitable auspicious qualities, His easy accessibility and benevolent grace. They describe the five forms of God: transcendent (Para), the cosmic person (Vyuha), the incarnations (Vibhava, Avatara), immanent form (Antaryamin) and the image form (Archa).

These five aspects are said to be a step by step descent of the Supreme Being from His inaccessible, transcendental level to the most accessible level of His residence in temples as Archa. It is due to His compassion for suffering mankind that the Lord makes Himself accessible through different forms. Thus the descent of God is for the sake of ascent of man.

Pillai Lokacharya gives a homely example to highlight the Lord’s overriding compassion for humanity. He says that just as parents are more worried about their son living in a distant land than the one who lives with them, God also is more concerned about mankind suffering in this world even though the eternal souls (Nityasuris) and the liberated souls serve Him in His divine abode. It was only after the 12 Azhwars sang God’s glory in His 106 abodes (Divyadesas) on Earth that He was assured that all would be able to attain Him without difficulty.

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