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An explanation on "Prahlada StOtram"
Date: Fri May 26 2000 - 19:18:42 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas:

With reference to the series on "PrahlAda StOtram" recently featured on the 
a fellow Bhagavata has raised a very important point saying - 

"The Devas requested Shree Maha Lakshmi to go near him and make him calm. She 
made Bhagavat Prahlada to do this. This is not in the meaning that Shree Maha 
Lakshmi was also having fear to approach the Lord. She is eternally present 
with the Lord in all his aspects inseparably. She made Bhagavat Prahlada to 
go near the lord and make him calm only to show the greatness of Bhagavat 
Prahlada Alwar."

The Bhagavata is correct. There is no denying the fact that ThAyAr is 
eternally present with the Lord in all his aspects inseparably.

In the Introduction to the series, I have only quoted from Sri Uttamur 
Swami's foreword to the work, which runs as follows:

Inter alia, Uttamur Swami observes -
 " In all other Avatars, the PurushAkaram of PirATTi was manifest; In this 
AvatAram, He showed that even without this, a true devotee could approach 
Him. That is why Periya PirATTi permitted PrahlAda to approach the Lord. 
Following him, the other celestials approached Nrisimha"

She bade PrahlAda to approach. In a way, this itself can be construed as 

As Swami Desikan points out in the very first stanza of his "DasAvatAra 
all these AvatAras constitute His leelas. "dasadhA nirvarthayan bhoomikAm" 
which means the Lord "enacts a drama" taking different roles (vEshams) in the 
leela vibhuthi and as for ThAyAr, she "dons suitable roles to enact".
'nAyikA prithakvidhEshu bhAvEshu anuguNAm bhAvAn svayam bibhrathi" and 
She is also said to "play" "viharathE".

It is the great author of Srimad BhAgavatam (in which blossomed this 
"PrahlAda StOtram" ) who says in so many words that "Sri MahAlakshmi also did 
not approach Him because His appearance was neither seen nor heard of ever 
sAkshAth Sree prEshithA dEvai: drishtvA thun mahat adbutham/
adrishTa- asrutha poorvathvAth sA na upEyAya sankhithA//        (SlOka 2)
"Seeing the anger of the Lord not quenched, His consort, Sri MahAlakshmi was 
sent by the dEvas. She too, did not approach Him because His appearance was 
neither seen nor heard of ever before". 'She sent PrahlAda "because His 
appearance was neither seen nor heard of ever before" (adrishTa- asrutha 
poorvathvAth sA na upEyAya sankhithA).

The word 'sankhithA' is very significant. It means she was indeed afraid and 
was doubtful whether to approach the Lord. 

While vEdanta avers that they are inseparable in terms of "AgalakillEn 
enru.." etc.
and "thinaithaLavum viDA Aravinda lOchananai" etc., in the drama they enact 
they have to portray sentiments (bhAvas) appropriate to their dramatis 

Incidentally, the word "Personality" is derived from "per sona" -- per (like) 
and sona (sound)" which means "sound like the one whom one portrays". 

This does not detract from their inseparability. 

If it were not a drama, why should Sri Sita be abducted and why should Rama 
bewail to every tree, river , etc., asking whether they had seen Sita. If it 
were not a drama with a purpose to show us how human beings would and how 
they should react under similar circumstances -- the very purpose and meaning 
of the "SitAyA's Charitham mahath" would be lost!

Similarly, even if ThayAr had "acted" as if she was also afraid to approach 
Lord Nrisimha, it only fits very well in "her role in the drama" of this 
AvatAra and is proof of Her extraordinary talents even in "acting"!

Hope this clarifies.
Anbil Ramaswamy

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