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Doctrine and the Drama
Date: Mon May 29 2000 - 07:13:54 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas:
I am overwhelmed by the encouraging responses from several readers on the 
series on "PrahlAda StOtram". 

With reference to the query of the BhAgavata on Sri MahAlakshmi (the 
inseparable Consort of the Lord) being portrayed in the StOtram as being 
"afraid" to approach the angry Lord, another BhAgavata had commented as 

"It was a very pertinent question of doctrine the BhAgavata raised and Sri. 
thank you Sir, for clarifying it equally well.

Yes, the purAna says that Mahalakshmi on seeing the terrible form of Her 
avatAra recoiled from Him in fear. Commentators have added that 'thAyAr' was 
heard to even say, "This creature perhaps is not my Lord at all!".

Such portrayals of the purAni-c scene are entirely credible from a purely 
point of view. But they should not be immediately confused with matters of 
doctrine or other... the doctrine of 'purushAkAram' in this case. Several 
incidents do serve to illustrate doctrine; but that does not necessarily mean 
every doctrine has its affirmation in some 'purAnA'.

In the 'yuddha-kAndA' of the Ramayana we see Lord Rama savagely repudiate His
Consort Sita in the presence of all the world, as it were. Rama utters 
things, cruel things.... He even says He wished He never had to set eyes on 
again, ever.... etc. Now does all that mean Rama Himself negated the doctrine 
"purushAkAra"? That would be straining the credibility of both 'purAnA' and 
doctrine, isn't it?

We must be careful not to read too much meaning into 'purAni-c' incidents 
while using them to illustrate abstruse matters of doctrine or theology."
As indicated in my reply, in terms of the "leela" vouched by SwAmi DEsika and 
Bhagavad RAmAnuja (vide- "akhila bhuvana janma sthEma bhangAdi leelE") if  
the "acting in the drama of this AvatAra" of Lord Nrisimha and Sri 
MahAlakshmi has roused such reaction as to raise the query in the first 
place, it only goes to prove -

* The best Actress award goes to....Periya pirATTI ! 
* The best Actor award goes to....  Lord Nrisimha !  

Anbil Ramaswamy

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           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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