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Article in The Hindu on Sharanagathi

From: Malolan Cadambi (
Date: Tue Dec 11 2001 - 23:47:44 PST

Efficacy of surrender at God's feet

CHENNAI, DEC. 12. It may be possible to come across men of integrity,
honesty, diligence, piety, merit and humility, yet when the same
persons come to hold power (more so, political) that makes them wield
unrestricted authority, over a long time continuously, it is quite
likely that they may be reluctant to step down but stick on to that
coveted position forever. Should they show an inclination to give up
that distinction, sycophants around them, who have gained benefits
because of their lenience and generosity, are sure to goad them to
remain in the seat. This eagerness to enjoy power is in human nature.
Even thousands of years ago, when the country was governed by
monarchs, God, who assumed a human form to protect the righteous and
to remove evil forces, clearly said: ``It may be that crown and
throne have cast a spell of fascination on him, a contingency that is
neither unlikely nor unnatural. If it so transpires, come back to Me
quickly so that I may not embarrass him.'' 

These were the sentiments expressed by Rama on His triumphant return
after 14 years of exile. The remarks were about Bharata, who had been
administering the country for all these years as His regent, keeping
the Lord's ``Padukas'' on the throne, awaiting Rama's return and
ready to hand over the responsibility. Deputing Anjaneya to go in
advance to inform Bharata about His arrival in a few hours, Rama said
``Observe carefully Bharata's reaction.'' Contrary to such an
anticipation, Bharata was ecstatic about his brother's home-coming
and what more, he was preparing to commit immolation if Rama delayed
His return beyond the stipulated time. The Ramayana projects ideal
brotherly relationship. 

In his discourse, Sri V. Srivatsankacharya explained the function of
the epic to interpret the great truth lying underneath, viz., the
efficacy of ``surrender'' at God's feet by anyone, even an animal or
a God. Once a penitent resorts to this procedure, of course which
requires the adoption of a few rigid codes, God will lead him to His
own kingdom, relieving him of his re-entry to the world. The
monumental work reflects how learning, statecraft, courage and valour
turned waste in the face of lust and obstinacy in the case of a
mighty emperor, Ravana, who disregarded all pleadings to give back
Sita whom he had abducted. Evil counsellors swarming around him
brought about his downfall. Ravana's favourite queen Mandodari
guessed that Rama was the Supreme Being who had landed in the world
to re-establish moral order. In her dirge, she extolled her husband's
prowess but never showed any insult to him though she praised Rama. 

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