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Sri.Triplicane's 'bheethi'

From: M K Sudarshan (sudarsan_at_batelco.com.bh)
Date: Sat Feb 22 1997 - 23:59:39 PST

Dear friends,
Since none on the "list" seems to have gone forward to respond to our good
friend, Sri.Vijay Triplicane's below-mentioned query on the Bhattar's
"nirvAham", I thought it worthwhile to do so:
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Sri.Triplicane wrote in his post of 19/2/97 :
>Thanks for an interesting story. I have heard this before and i understand the 
>idea/moral behind it. I have a question though.
>
>Why should the father (The Lord) be anxious? The son's anxiousness is
nothing but the jeevaathmaa's bheethi and the third person who introduces
the son to
> the father is the aachaaryan who shows the means through which the son
(jeevan)
>comes to know of the father (paraman). 
>
>I remember listening to this in a kaalakshEbam where this specific question
was 
>putforth and answered convincingly. Could somebody clarify..
>Thanks a lot.
>-Viji
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Here is my response, dear Sri.Triplicane for you to consider :

To me Bhattar's story explains how "bhagavath-sambhandha-gnyAnam" instantly
destroys "bheeti" in the soul of a "prapanna".

I am not sure it is Bhattar's intention that the story serve as a sort of
allegorical play on the "three-way" relationship between "paramatma",
"jivatma" and "achAryA". 

If we did, for a moment, however, consider the story as an allegory and
regard the "father"-character in it as "paramatma", then your query on the
"father's anxiety" is very pertinent.

I think SriVaishnava literature is replete with several allusions to the
Lord's great "anxiety" to redeem "bhaktA-s" and "chetana-s". The Lord's
"anxiety" in the "gajendra mOksha" episode and the "prahlAda" episode, to
take only two instances, have been copiously commented upon by our 'AchAryA's'.

The Lord's "anxiety" is also best explained, in my opinion, by an anecdote
the revered "TillaistAnam Swamy", it seems, was known to have recounted
while annotating some specific passages from Swami Desikan's RTS.

Here is how it goes :

The Sage Narada was passing through 'bhulOka' when he chanced upon a
"bhaktA" meditating under a tree. Narada could see that the aspirant had
been subjecting himself to the severest asceticism for many years.

When the 'bhaktA' saw Narada he ran to him and begged for a favour.

"Please, Sir, the next time you have audience with Sriman Narayana, can you
please enquire when is my Day of Deliverance from 'samsara' and Ascent to
'paramapada'?".

Sage Narada agreed and promptly took up the matter with Narayana who
replied, "Narada, pleased as I am with that 'bhaktA's' efforts, tell him he
has many, many more "janmA-s" -- as many as the leaves of the tree he
meditates under -- to exhaust before he will be Blessed with a Vision of Me."

Narada travelled back to the 'bhaktA' to give him the bad news that it would
take several more re-births for the Day of Deliverance.

When Narada actually conveyed the news, the "bhaktA", far from being
dejected, began prancing about in great joy around the tree.

Narada queried,"Pray, tell me, Sir, what is there to be so merry about ?"

To which the 'bhaktA' replied,"Why, of course there is every reason for
exulting, my good Sire Narada, for haven't you just told me that I will have
a vision of the Lord ?!!"

Narada stood utterly bemused.

No sooner had the 'bhaktA' uttered those words than the Lord Sriman Narayana
Himself appeared on the scene. The 'bhaktA's' greater joy now knew no bounds
and he fell at the Lord's feet filling his heart's content with the glorious
sight of the Lord !

Narada was even more bewildered by the turn of events.

Sage Narada later took the Lord aside and questioned,"Lord, what did you
tell me then and what have you done now ? I don't understand Thee at all !!"

Narayana confessed,"Narada, did you witness the heights of bliss this
'bhakthA' was transported to by the mere prospect of My Vision which you
promised him after his many cycles of re-birth ?"

"I did, my Lord, and he did a crazy jig around the tree like a happy child
when he heard that!" said Narada.

"Well, Narada, after that I became "anxious" and couldn't wait to see what
else than a mere jig could this 'bhaktA' do when actually granted with a
vision of Myself"! So I couldn't help granting him my audience forthwith
rather than wait for him to complete those many "janmA-s" of his !" 

Narada heard this and shook his head in utter disbelief at the Lord's strage
ways and whims !!
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I trust all this answers your question, Sri.Triplicane, unless you too like
Sage Narada are as befuddled on hearing Sriman Narayana's strange explanation ?
(Believe me, I still am !!)

I hope, at least, the explanation -- that the Lord's "anxiety" is merely his
"whim" ("icchai") -- is half as convincing as the one you got in the
"kalapshEpam" you attended ?

Or, perhaps, you have already heard this "tilaistAnam swamy" story, too,
before in some "kalapshepam" somewhere ?

sudarshan