MISCELLANEOUS

God’s infinite glory religion

CHENNAI: The scriptures concede that they have failed to exhaust the glory of the Supreme Being. Mystics and saints who have attempted to do so by His grace have expressed that His glory is infinite and hence impossible to convey it in words. Vedanta Desika in his hymn Paduka Sahasram extolling the Paduka (sandals) of Lord Ranganatha asks whether it is possible for one to even attempt it and says, figuratively, maybe if the entire sky happens to be the paper to write on and the seven seas the ink with which to inscribe it, and that the Lord Himself should come in person to facilitate this thereby underscoring how unfeasible it is.

Such an impossibility indeed happened in the lives of the first three Azhwars — Poygai, Bhutam and Pey — due to divine grace when they met in Tirukovilur on a stormy night in the foyer of a house in which they took shelter from the rain, said Utthamur Sri Rajagopalachariar in his discourse.

Desika describes how the Lord blessed them with His vision in his hymn Dehalisastuti. He says that they were by nature pious and possessed the “twin eyes” of the Vedas and Yoga to envision Him. Hence the Lord rushed to their side when they came together.

In order to dispel the pitch darkness to see who was amidst them, Poygai Azhwar lit a lamp with the Earth as the receptacle, the ocean as the ghee and the Sun as the flame. The Azhwar Himself describes this mystical experience, which resulted in a torrent of exquisite verses in His praise. He then strung them together as a garland, the Mudal Tiruvandadi, to adorn the Lord who wields the discus.

In this he highlights how the Lord keeps His promise to protect His devotees by referring to His deeds during the Mahabharata war. In order to demoralise the Kauravas by making them think that Aswatthama had died Krishna blew His conch to drown out Yudhishthira’s announcement of the death of an elephant by the name Ashwatthama. When Krishna blew His conch Panchajanya it sapped the life breath out of the Kauravas. To help Arjuna avenge his son Abhimanyu’s death by killing Jayadrata He blocked the Sun to make it appear as though it had set.

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