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Re: Vibhishana sharanaagati

From: Sridhar Srinivasan (
Date: Wed Oct 14 1998 - 02:10:33 PDT

The discussion hitherto has provided interesting insights into 
piRATTi's purushakaara vaibhavam, but there is an important point 
that has not been addressed in these discussions, and one that Mani 
has mentioned, in which context, it might be useful to re-word the 
question that was originally posed:

Is there a role for Seetha pirATTi in vibheeshaNa sharaNAgathi as is 
evident in cases such as that of kAkAsuran? 

> Seeing that no one has answered - I shall venture to say my two
> cents worth. This is something that has particularly struck a
> chord in my heart - especially when it came to Sri Raama. I do
> not particularly care when this is brought up with respect to the
> Para, Vyuha, Archa and the other Vibhava avataras of the
> Lord. But Sri Raama is special.
> I feel a physical blow when someone claims that Raama did not
> have KaaruNyam when he was without Mother Seetha. I guess some
> Sri Vaishnavaas particularly like to labor the point of the
> Piraatti being the compassionate one. I like to respectfully
> differ. Here are my repertoire of examples from my limited
> reading of the Srimad RaamaayaNam.

Raaman is ShaadguNya paripoorNan.  Is he not the ONLY ONE whom Sage 
nArada identifies as guNavAn, veeryavAn, dharmagnya, kruthagnya, 
sathyavAkyaha, drudhavrathaha, yukthaha, sarvabhootha hithaha, 
vidwaan, samarthaha, priyadarsanaha...?  AcharyaL's classify 
perumAL's innumerable kalyANa guNas into two broad groups:  One KOTi 
(ten million) that come under his incomprehensible soulabhyam, and 
the other that can be classified as part of his irrefutable paratvam 
(the other KOTi).

The question is not whether bhagavAn has kAruNyam or not.  Of course, 
he overflows with kAruNyam for all of creation.   Whether he will 
display kAruNyam towards those that have committed 
apachAram to his devotees is the real question, and should form the 
context for piRaTTi's purushakaarathvam.  He is, as he proclaims in 
the Geetha, "sarva bhootha suhruth".  When sugreeva et al.  oppose 
accepting vibheeshaNa, it is emberumAn who says "sakrutheva 
prapannAya thava asmi.. abhayam sarva bhoothebhyO dadaami.." and then 
confirms it with "yEthath dhrutham mama".... In fact, it is extremely 
difficult, reading about the awe-inspiring dhArmika soulabhyam of Sri 
Raama, to be not touched by his kAruNyam.

 However, he is also nirankusha swathanthran (unfettered 
independent).   Since he is the one who has laid down the shAstras, 
he (as he very eloquently describes in the Geetha) has to let the 
course of karmA and dharmA run consistent with shAstric injunctions.  
That is why the Shastras call him "dhanDadharan", one who will 
enforce dharma, consistently and with impartialty.

It is in those instances when someone has sinned egregiously, 
especially against his devotees, that the lord might not show mercy 
(Who can question his swathanthryam and parathvam) and where 
piRATTi's role as purushakaara bhoothai comes to the fore.  Because 
she wants to pardon everyone, and wants to bring back all her 
children back into the fold, be they evil or misguided, if only she 
can convince them to show even a soupcon of contrition.  For she 
represents the all-forgiving kindness inherent to the lord.  It would 
be instructive to remember Seetha vaakyam to Hanuman in the context 
of punishing the raakshasis - na kashchin naaparadhyasi - that they 
deserve forgiveness because the raakshasis were enjoined to be cruel, 
by nature, association or conditioning and not because of any 
inherent fault.  

So, the real point is that piRatti's kAruNyam goes beyond that of 
perumAL for she is not fettered by the need to be the enforcer of 
shastras.  Hence, piRatti's explicit role in the context of 
vibheeshaNa sharaNAgathi might be largely irrelevant.  

However, in cases such as those of maareecha or vaali, her presence 
would have ensured that they, who had erred, may well have gotten an 
opportunity to set things right (as Sri Pillai lokacharyar says - 
chEthananai aruLAle thiruthum - her kindness/dayA will engender a 
sense of contrition in those who have erred, thereby giving the lord 
an opportunity to be the sarva bhootha suhruth.)  After all, Sri 
Raama would have spared rAvaNA even till the final moment, if only he 
had had the sense to even begin realizing the error of his ways.

Aazhwaar Emberumaanaar Jeeyar ThiruvadigaLe sharaNam