Celebrating the Azhwars and the Divya Desams of Lord Sriman Narayana!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Lord's Transgressions of Dharma

Reading through C.Rajaji’s Ramayana, Adiyen happenedto think of the Vali Vadham episode and wish to share some of my ramblings on this topic with this august forum of venerable Sri Vaishnavites.There are numerous occasions wherein the Lord has, uninhibitedly and brazenly flouted “dharma” to uphold the interests of His Devotees. Straightaway, Adiyen can think of three instances (doubtless, there are many more):

1. Depriving the Asuras of Amrutam, to confine it to the Devas, even though the Asuras had participated equally in the churning of the ocean and hence had an equal right to the spoils.

2. Killing Vaali, while remaining hidden, and that toowhen He had no personal score to settle with Vaali.

3. Protecting Saatyaki from certain death, by getting Arjuna to sever the hand of Bhurisravas in theKurukshetra war, though Arjuna was in no way involved in the Saatyaki-Bhurisravas duel. (I am not sure why the other such episodes are discussed as much as Vaali Vadham) Aren’t these open and flagrant violations of so-called Dharma ? No – because from the Lord’s perspective, the first and foremost Dharma is the protection of HisDevotees. Everything else (i.e conventional considerations of Dharma) are set aside when a Devotee’s well-being is at stake, just as the police are armed with special powers in the event of an Emergency. Thiruvalluvar says in the Thirukkural –“Udukkai izhanthavan kai pola Angae iDukkaN kaLaivadhAm natpu”. Just as a man’s hand instinctively clutches at his waist cloth when he senses that it is slipping, a man’s true friend rushes to his succour at the time of peril. If even a human friend can do this, what to speak of the Lord, when His devotee is in peril ? This is illustrated by EmperumAn’s speed in rushing to Gajendra’s aid – a speed so tremendous that it had the Lord waiting for Sri Sudarsana to catch up.( “Senru, ninru, Azhi thottaanai” – Thirumangai Azhwar describing the Lord of Triplicane) Now, what is “Dharma” and what is “Adharma” ? As is repeatedly pointed out in the Mahabharatha, the way of Dharma is extremely intricate and even great men are often perplexed at what is right and what is not. Thisis why the Lord says “Sarva DharmAn Parithyajtha; mAmekam saranam vraja”. For, what really is Dharma is not what we think it to be, it is what the Lord thinks it to be. (“AchAra prabhavo dharma, dharmasya prabhurachyutah” – says the phala sruthi of the Vishnu Sahasranama) Hence the Lord simplifies our task by saying, “You do not worry about Dharma (with your infinitesimal intellect !) .You just surrender unto me”. The same sentiment is echoed in a line in the Bible – “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Names’ sake”. ( If I remember right, it is the twenty-third psalm) Let’s consider another thing. We commit innumerable sins and acquire an enormous heritage of Dush-Karma. But still, we pray to the Lord, and He cheerfully reduces our gravest and most heinous sins (“sediyaayaval vinaigaL”) to ashes.(poya pizhaiyum puku tharuvAnninranavum theeyinil thoosaakum). Thus He allows us to get away without paying fully for our misdeeds.Strictly speaking, is this also not a transgression ofthe laws of karma and dharma ? And if the Lord were to strictly apply the yardstick of dharma while judging us, what would be our plight ? Such trivial considerations of karma and dharma are cast aside when the Lord’s Grace attends on us, isn’t it ?Doubtless, everything of the above must be something that readers have known/realized already, but stillthe Lord’s Daya cannot be over emphasized. I am surprised at my own temerity in placing these thoughts in this elite forum. I regret any errors in the form or substance of this message. Adiyen

1 comment:

Vanjula said...

I am really a big fan of this post. I was once googling and stumbled on to it in the Shri Vaishnavite forum archives. Amazingly well written and well informed.
Although I heard a version that it was Lord Garuda who was not able to keep up to Swami Varadaraja.