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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Supreme One on earth

   The Supreme One, who took many incarnations to save us, is without blemish. It is said that the Lord, in His Rama avatara, gave liberation even to blades of grass in Ayodhya.

But how do we surrender to God, who is not present now in our midst as an incarnation? We need not worry, for we have God in archa, that is, the idol form in temples, where we can offer our surrender.

Nammazhvar says of Lord Srinivasa of Tirumala that He is the One with Goddess Lakshmi on His chest, and that he (Nammazhvar) surrenders at His feet. The Lord's archa form shines brilliantly like a lamp lit in a dark room. This world, full of blemishes, has in its midst the Lord who is blemishless, said Akkarakkani Srinidhi.

Five forms

The Lord has five forms — Para, Vyuha, Vibhava, Antaryami and Archa. So how does the archa form score over the other forms? Antaryami is the Lord's presence within every one of us. But we lack the gnana to discern Him as Antaryami. To tell a man who seeks liberation to understand the Lord who resides in him as Antaryami is like telling a thirsty man, who asks for water, to dig a well and then take water from it.

By the time he is finished with the job, he will be dead. Likewise, to tell a seeker of moksha to fathom the Lord in the form of Antaryami will not work.

What then of the Para form of the Lord? To direct a man who seeks liberation to the Para form of the Lord is like telling a thirsty man to walk several miles to a lake to slake his thirst there.

To tell a devotee that he should approach the Vyuha form is like telling him to approach a lake, which may not be several miles distant, but is still at a considerable distance from where he is.

To tell him to approach the Vibhava avataras, which all ended thousands of years ago, is like asking him why he did not make use of the water that a flood brought to the land, years before his birth.

But to guide him to the archa form of the Lord in temples is like guiding him to pools of water that remain after the rain has ended, and the floodwaters have receded.

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