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From: V. Chandrasekaran (vcs_at_wipinfo.soft.net)
Date: Fri Oct 16 1998 - 04:30:32 PDT
Dear Members, My Namaskarams to one and all. It's been an interesting series of posts by learned members of this group about "vibhIshaNa SaraNAgathi" which is an illustrious portion of the epic, that elicits the Lord's ready admission to His Feet for pure and sincere bhaktas. My view is more in the lines of the posting of Sri Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian. Pls. read on. A gn~yani knows the Truth, the Truth that Body being material is `immaterial' and it's the jIvan that "Is". So when the Lord who is the Ultimate of gn~yanis, in His avatar, punishes a particular so called `individual', His intention is not to inflict pain on the sthUla SarIram of that individual entity. He only puts a `period' to the play of that sthUlam on this earth which would otherwise go on causing damage to dharma. This act of His doesn't smack of any lack of mercy. So actually, Lord's mercy comes to be talked and enjoyed about, only when He grants or not grants His Holy Feet to a jIvan and not when he chooses to strike or not strike with His Great weapons, which in my opinion are only symbols of His Omnipotent Nature. After all, why should we think that the kAruNya rAman did not show mercy to the asuras like Ravana etal., when he is Omniscient and is in the know that Ravana is noone but the Mighty Guard of His Divine Abode who took such abject birth after incurring the sin of causing apachAram to sanakAdhi munIs. So if He really meant to not show mercy to Ravana would he not have dumped the jIvan into the nether lOkAs besides afflicting severe pain to his sthUlam. But he took Ravana back to parama padham after waiting for one (??) more samhAram during krishna avathAr abiding by the curse on the jIvan. This shows that rAma's or krishNa's striking or not striking somebody won't mean He didn't show mercy etc., because He never considers the bodies that He fells as anything more than flesh, blood and bones. Would it not be a misunderstanding of the essential nature of the Lord to think otherwise, He being the Supreme gn~yani who preached and made Arjuna realise that: "what gets destroyed by your bow is only the bodies which don't have existence after the soul parts it; but know that, that which pervades these bodies and all, that jIvA, is eternal and cannot be destroyed...." In this light of thoughts, can we still continue to think that rAmA intended to punish the asurAs by striking their bodies by his kOdhandam and didn't possess mercy in doing so?! In this same line of discussion, one more thing could be thought of: We call this event as "gajEndra mOksham". This is because we don't think that the Lord saved the elephant only from the physical pains of getting horribly bitten by the reptile but saved from the earthly ills and granted it mOksham. So Lord's mercy is aptly talked about and enjoyed only in terms of His granting mOksham to a jIvan. adiyEn, chandrasekaran.