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Vaatsalyam

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Mon Feb 13 1995 - 13:27:30 PST

In this continuing series of twelve posts, twelve of the
many guNaas that are innate to Brahman is discussed
with illustrations from aazhvaar paasurams.  These
twelve guNaas demonstrate God's eternal love for us
jeevaathmaas.  They are sowseelyam, vaathsalyam,
mardhavam, aarjavam, sowhaartham, saamyam,
kaaruNyam, maadhuryam, gaambeeryam, owdhaaryam,
chaathuryam, and sthairyam.  The subject of this post is
vaathsalyam.

Vaathsalyam:   The love that is blind to our sins and
               imperfections, much like mother's love
               that is  blind to the flaws of her baby.
               (kaakkaikku than kuncu pon kuncu.)

When vibeeshaNan came to sri raamaa, starting with
sugreevan many argued against granting refuge to him.
They elaborated vibeeshaNan's  many defects.  But our
Lord was blind to all of them.  Earlier, He was blind to
even kaakaasuran's sins and granted him refuge.  It is
this vaatsalyam that Seethai had in mind when she
advised raavaNan to give up his folly and take refuge at
the Lords lotus feet.

Thirumangai aazhvaar describes this vaatsalyam in the
first thiru mozhi of the periya thiru mozhi.  In the first 8
paasurams he details all his faults and sins and in the
ninth he declares that in spite of all these sins, our Lord
will grant whatever we wish.  With "peRRa thaayinum
aayina seyyum," aazhvaar asserts that our Lord's
vaatsalyam is even greater than that of one's own mother.
>From this first thiru mozhi, only the 8th and 9th
paasurams are given here.

\bt
kaRRilEn kalaigaL aimbulan karudhum
  karutthuLE thirutthinEn manatthai,
peRRilEn adhanaal pEdhaiyEn nanmai
  perun^ilatth aaruyirk ellaam,
seRRamE vENdith thiritharuvEn thavirndhEn
  selgadhik kuyyumaa ReNNi,
nRRuNaiyaagap paRRinEn adiyEn
  naaraayaNaa vennum naamam.   1.1.8
\et

"I have let my mind firmly into sensual pleasures of the
five indhriyams.  With ire in my mind I have been
callous towards all the beautiful fellow creatures of this
great world.  But now, full of desire for deliverance into
the other world, I have abandoned my old ways and
seized upon the ashtaaksharam (Om namO
naaraayaaNaaya) as the means of liberation."

\bt
kulamtharum selvam thandhidu madiyaar
  padu thuyaraayina vellam,
nilandharancheyyum neeLvisumbaruLum
  aruLoduperu nilamaLikkum,
valandharum maRRunthanNdhidum peRRa
  thaayinu maayinaseyyum,
nalandharunchollai naan kaNdukoNdEn
  naaraayaNaa vennum naamam.  1.1.9
\et

"Our Lord NaraayaaNaa will grant us whatever we wish,
even more than one's own mother;  these are high status,
wealth, freedom from sorrow, eternal moksham (neeL
visumbu), this earth if you so wish, the strength to rule
over the earth, etc., etc."

Our Lord's vaatsalyam is manifest in His benevolence in
spite of all our faults.


.... to be continued

----------
This and other posts to follow in this subject are based
on the aruL mozhigaL of the 45th azhagiya singar of sri
aHObila madam, sri vaN satakOpa sri naaraayaNa
yatheendhra mahaa dEsikan, published in sri nrusimhap
priyaa starting with bava varusham, chitthirai maasam,
(April 1994), and commentaries of aazhvaar
prabhandams published by The Visishtadvaita Pracharini
Sabha, 27, Venkatesa Agraharam, Mylapore, Madras,
600 004.