MISCELLANEOUS

God responds to devotion

CHENNAI, NOV.30 . The Supreme Being, who is the omniscient and omnipotent Lord of the entire creation, is beyond the ken of human senses and understanding. But, He can be bound with the cord of devotion. There are several instances cited in the scriptures highlighting how He responds to the unalloyed devotion of His devotees. The Bhagavata Purana describes how Sage Durvasa's curse became ineffectual when he invoked it to slight King Ambarisha who was a great devotee.

The Purana describes him as a royal sage, who, despite inheriting the entire globe, did not fall a prey to power and pelf. He spent all his time in devotional activities and pleased with his love and devotion Lord Vishnu bestowed His own discus, Sudarsana on him. Retiring to the forest Madhuvana with his wife, who was similarly disposed, the king undertook the sacred vow of fasting on Ekadasi for one year. On one occasion when he was about to break his fast on the next day (Dwadasi) after completing his prayer, Durvasa arrived. The king extended his hospitality to the sage and he went to the river to finish his midday ablutions.

Ambarisha was in a dilemma as he could not partake food without offering it to his honoured guest but the sacred vow had to be completed before the fixed time also. As advised by his counsellors the king sipped a little water to break his fast and then waited for the sage. When Durvasa returned he intuited what the king had done and flew into a rage saying that he had violated Dharma by his act. He pulled out a lock of his hair and created an evil spirit to destroy the king, who however remained unperturbed. The Lord's discus immediately not only destroyed it but also started chasing Durvasa who had to seek the protection of the Gods in vain, said Sri Kesava Dikshitar in his discourse.

Finally, he surrendered to Lord Vishnu who declared, "My heart having been taken possession of by My pious devotees, I am really subject to the control of such devotees. Pious souls are My most beloved while I am the heart of the righteous. Force employed against the righteous brings harm to the person who inflicts it." He advised the sage to surrender to Ambarisha and seek his forgiveness saying that he would be able to get peace of mind only then. When he did so, the king instead praised him and the sage saw for himself how pious he was. Durvasa then took it upon himself to spread the glory of unalloyed devotion to God.

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