You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : December 1996

"Do we need to ask/beg Him"

From: M K Sudarshan (
Date: Sat Dec 07 1996 - 01:24:38 PST

srimathE sri lakshmi-nrsumha parabrahmaNe namaha
sri vedanta desika guravE namaha

Dear bhagavatOttamas,
Over the weekend (ours here in the Islamic world ends when yours in the
Christian world begins!) I took the opportunity to share some of the fine
thoughts expressed here in tbe group on this subject with a very dear and
elderly "friend" of mine back in India with whom I had a telecon. I have
great respect for his "anushtAnam" and his quiet sort of wisdom in these
matters although like most of us he too lives and struggles with great
dignity in an ordinary and "loukika" mode of existence.

His reaction to my synopsistic account of of our recent discussions was
characteristically categorical.With your permission I would like to share
with you his wonderful response in emphatic Tamil which has its own "rasa" :

"sAstria-mAna vivAdamO, tArkika samvAdamO, adhil dOsham onrum illai;
yEcharikkai, vAdam pUrna bhagavath-chinthanaiyUdan-irukkavEndUm !!
AnnAl, intha vishayatthil yEn ivvalavu samshayam tAngaL-eLOrkkUm ? nam
pUrvAchAryargaLum kooda Urakka "kEtArgaLE" ! AzwArgal kadhari azhudhArgalE
pAsurathil!! avargaL "ketkavillai" enrAl, ippOzhudu intha pracchannaikkE
ingu iddam UndO ? sadhAranamUdaiyavarpOl namakku, vetkkathai-vittu,
dinnamthOrum avanai urakka mOkshatthaiyE kEtka yEn indha sankOcham ??"

I translate the above in English for those of you who are not Tamil-speaking :

"there is nothing wrong in debating about this issue as long as it is firmly
based on true regard for the Lord. But I am intrigued why people should have
any doubts in this matter. After all our "achAryAs" too openly "asked"! and
the Azhwars sought the Lord's grace by weeping and anguishing loudly in
their "pAsurams" !! if they hadn't all been so vocal or effusive in their
beseeching would this matter be an issue of debate now amongst you gentlemen
? why should we ordinary mortals be inhibited in openly and daily
requisitioning HIM, through our words, deed and thoughts, for "mOkshA" ??!"

I then asked this revered "friend" of mine if he had any basis("pramANam")
for his views.

He replied instantaneously,"O! irukkinradhE! innUm patthU nALiLlE dhanUr
mAsam ! tirUppAvai anUbhavikka nEram vandhuvittadu ! nAcchiyAr namakku vazhi
sOllina azhugu pArthAle pOrrUm intha vishayathil : "vAyAl pAdi, mannathinAl
sindikka"! mUdalil "vAyAl pAddavEndUm", pinnAlEthAnE "mannathinnAl" sinthika
vendiya kadamai namakku !! pUrinthuthA, sudarshan ?!!".

Meaning : "Of course! my friend! In about 10 days time it will be time for
Dhanur-month. It will be time to sing the Tiruppavai of Sri.Andal. She
herself points out the answer to this problem you pose to me. I hope you
understand, Sudarshan?!". 

He made a reflexive and, in my opinion, inspired allusion to the Tiruppavai
of Sri.Andal where in one of the stanzas she says,"vAyAl pAdi, manatthinAl
sindikka". Here the wonderful phrase can be interpreted as :"first utter the
words to the Lord, then contemplate their import!!". In Tamil this seems to
suggest that we should first "ask" Him then "think about" everything else!! 

To us humans who always tend to "talk in haste and repent at leisure"
Sri.Andal's advice is indeed eminently suitable !! The only difference is
that if we heed her words and proceed to "ask in haste" there is no doubt we
shall  "rejoice later" ! 

This seemed to me, dear bhAgavatOttamas, a fantastic, brilliant and simply
out-of-the-world answer to the question of our subject matter and I hastened
this morning to share it with you all !!

(Tamil-speaking members must further note that my beloved "friend" said
"nAcchiyAr namakku vazhi sOllina azhugu" when he could have otherwise
said,"kAttina azhagu"--- this further proves the point that the act of
"uttering" or "asking" is of utmost importance !!)

There is no doubt in my mind, my dear friends, that we have to "ask, ask,
ask and ask again" the Lord for whatever it is we desire !!

srimathE srivan satagopa sri narayana yathindra mahadesikAya namaha


srimathE lakshmi-nrsumha parabrahmaNE namaha
sri vedanta desika guravE namaha