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From: Thirumalai Anandanpillai (tananda_at_cp.uswc.uswest.com)
Date: Fri Feb 02 1996 - 13:23:51 PST

Subject: Re: Comments on Rama Avathaar



The following is forwarded from Nagu Satyan. Her email address is
Nagu.Satyan@den.mmc.com


Varadhan

 
> COMMENTS RE SRI RAMA AVATHAAR
> 
> Based on some articles I have read, I would like to offer the 
> following comments re Sri Rama Avathaar.  Some of these incidents were 
> described in the Tamil magazine Gnyaana Bhoomi.
> 
> 1. In one of the ongoing intensive battles between Asuras and Devas, 
> the Asuras were defeated very severely by the Devas.  Sukracharya is 
> the Guru for Asuras.  Sage Brigu's wife Bhoolomaa, Sukracharya's 
> mother, decided to help the Asuras and started doing a very harsh and 
> intense penance.  The Devas were alarmed by the severity of the 
> penance and begged Lord Vishnu to come to their rescue.  Lord Vishnu 
> intervenes and in a rage hurled the Sudarshanam disc at Brigu's wife 
> and beheaded her.  When Brigu saw her knocked down dead, he was 
> saddened by the loss of his wife and cursed Lord Vishnu that He 
> (Vishnu) would be born as a human being and suffer the pain and sorrow 
> of being separated from His wife.  With the prowess of his divine 
> strength, Sage Brigu revived his wife back to life.  Because of Sage 
> Brigu's curse, Vishnu was born as Rama, son of Dasaratha and suffered 
> from the separation of his wife Seetha.
> 
> Comment-- At the outset it appears incredible that Vishnu was the 
> recipient of a curse from anybody.  He did not have to accept Sage 
> Brigu's curse nor did He as Rama have to endure the various pain and 
> sufferings.  However, I believe Vishnu 's intentions was to show His 
> people that no one is above the rules of conduct, including Him, and 
> all of us have to face our destiny.  To enforce the Dharma, Lord 
> Vishnu proved this point by using Himself as the subject/object.  
> 
> Vishnu as Krishna Avathaar also was the recipient of a harsh curse 
> from Ghandhaari.  At the end of the Kurukshethra war, Ghandhaari is in 
> tremendous pain and sorrow after having lost all her sons.  When Lord 
> Krishna visits her to offer his condolences, her pain reveals as anger 
> and she curses him that the whole Yadhava clan would perish.  The 
> tragic way the Yadhavas are destroyed is unbelievable, even with 
> Krishna born into that clan.  Again, Vishnu as Krishna accepts and 
> endures the curse to demonstrate that even He is bound by the rules of 
> conduct.
> 
> 2) Some of Rama's actions are indeed contrary to His nature.  One of 
> these actions is the method He resorts to kill Vali.  Without even 
> addressing here whether Vali deserved this treatment, we can discuss 
> the fact that Rama recognizes that the method he resorted to kill Vali 
> from behind the tree is not acceptable neither as a kshaththriya nor 
> as a Avathaar.  The difference between Rama Avathaar and Krishna 
> Avathaar is that in Dvaapara Yuga Krishna believed that means 
> justified the end, whereas in Rama's time because Dharma was still 
> prevalent Rama did not believe in the means.  He gives Vali the boon 
> that in the next birth Vali would be the cause of the end of Rama's 
> (Vishnu's) Avathaar, which happened in Dvaapara Yuga when Krishna was 
> killed by a hunter (Vali) who mistakes the toe of Krishna to be the 
> animal.  There is a saying in Tamil " Raaman kaatiya paadai, Krishnan 
> koduttha Geethai" and "Krishnan saidadai saiyaadE, Krishnan sonnadai 
> sai."
> 
> 3) Lord Vishnu and The Avathaars are eternal.  Each Avathaars role is 
> determined and shines in the predetermined era.  However, the 
> Avathaars resurface at the appropriate time.  When Lord Narayana took 
> Sri Rama avathaar to protect the Devas from Ravana, Lord Adisesha was 
> born as his younger brother Lakshmana.  Lakshmana spent his whole life 
> selflessly serving Rama with utmost love and devotion.  When Rama 
> observed that Lakshmana was fully engrossed in serving Sri Rama 
> without thinking about his needs, Rama had a yearning to be born as 
> Adisesha's younger brother to serve him.  Accordingly, in the Dvaapara 
> Yuga, Lakshmana was born as the older brother Balarama and Rama as 
> younger brother Krishna.  It appears that Rama (Krishna) was not fully 
> satisfied that he had served Adisesha (Balarama).  Rama was waiting 
> for another opportunity to be born to serve Adisesha.  In Kali Yuga, 
> Sri Ramanujacharya came to earth as Adisesha's manifestation.  Sri 
> Rama waited for the opportune time and manifested as Daasarathy 
> (Mudaliaandaan, nephew and disciple of Sri Ramanujacharya), devoted 
> student of Sri Ramanujacharya and served him to fulfill Rama's desires 
> in Thraita Yuga.  
> 
> 4) As Rama, Vishnu did not use His divine strength to overcome 
> obstacles, unlike in Krishna avathaar where He had to resort to many 
> tricks to uphold Dharma.  Krishna would now and then reveal to others 
> that He was none other than Srimad Narayana.  There are two specific 
> instances that I know where Rama's divine form was revealed in that 
> Yuga, and once He appeared as Rama Avathaar in Kali Yuga for 
> Thirumangai Azhwar.  The first instance is at Seetha swayamvaram, when 
> an enraged Parasurama appears at the court after he sees through his 
> divine eyes that the bow has been broken.  When angry Parasurama 
> confronts Rama, Rama reveals that He is none other than Lord Narayana, 
> and Parasurama recognizes the end of his role in the era.  (There is a 
> marked difference in end of Avathaar versus end of role.  Parasurama 
> is one of the seven Chiranjeevis and is immortal.)  The second 
> instance occurs in the forest when Rama is searching for Seetha who 
> has been kidnapped by Ravana.  Along the way Rama comes across Jatayu 
> in Thiruppullam Poothangudi (Tamil Naadu) who is waiting for Rama to 
> inform him about seeing Seetha being taken to Lanka.  After Jatayu 
> dies, Rama prepares for performing the last rites.  However, shastra 
> required that Seetha be next to Rama during the religious rites.  When 
> Rama was pondering about this situation, Bhoomi Devi (Lakshmi Piraatti)
>  appeared from the nearby pushkaranee (pond) on a red lotus and 
> requested that Rama perform the rites with her in place of Seetha.  
> Accordingly, Rama fulfilled his duties to Jatayu and being tired slept 
> under a tree in sayana kolam.  In the same spot a temple was built for 
> Rama.  The original version of moolavar is Rama in sayana yogam, with 
> the bow in his left hand on seven-head Adisesha, with Bhoomi Devi at 
> the feet, and Lakshmana and Jatayu close to Him at the back.  After 
> the incident with Thirumangai Azhwar when Rama provides dharshanam to 
> him, the moolavar permanently became Rama in sleeping posture with 
> four arms carrying conch, disc, bow and arrow. 
> 
> Comments re Moolavar-- Sri Rama revealed his divinity in Kali Yuga to 
> Thirumangai Azhwar.  After Srimad Narayana and Lakshmi appeared as a 
> newly married couple to save Thirumangai Azhwar from committing theft, 
> he was touched by the fact that the Lord was preventing him from 
> continuing the robbery and traveled to visit the divya sthalams and 
> reached the place called Thiruppullam Poothangudi.  When he visited 
> the temple he saw the moolavar with a bow in one of his hands and 
> thought "what  is this pose with a kshaththriya lying down with a bow?
> " and turned back without offering his respect.  He had just 
> approached the Dwajasthambam when he become faint and lost his vision. 
>  In this state of not being able to see his way, he briefly turned 
> towards the moolavar.  There to his surprise he saw Sri Rama's 
> darshanam in the sleeping posture with four arms carrying conch, disc, 
> bow and arrow.  Thirumangai Azhwar blessed by this divya darshanam 
> repented for his action and recited the following pasuram:
> 
> " arividhariyaan anaiththulagumudaiyaan ennaiyaaludaiyaan
> kuriyamaaniyuruvaai chootthan manniyamarumidam
> nariyamalarmEl surampaarkka yayilaar manjai nadamaada
> porikol siraivandu esaipaadum pullum poothangudi thaanE!
> 
> Since that event with Thirumangai Azhwar, Sri Rama has been providing 
> dharshan to the devotees in this form, with four arms carrying conch, 
> disc, and bow.
>