Ohhhhhh, no. Not my people! Never! – Three Minutes Series


Published from “Three Minutes” series written by A.S.Rajagopalan Swami of Ohio.

tan aDiyAr tiRattu agattut
tAmaraiyAL Agilum sidagu
ennaDiyAr adu seyyAr
seydArEl nanRu seydAr enbar
periyAzhvAr tirumozhi 4-9-2)

Agilum = Even if
tAmaraiyAL = shrI mahAlakShmI
uraikkumEl = tells
tiRattu = about
tannaDiyAr = His devotees’
sidagu = flaws (and)
agattu = related information
ennaDiyAr = “My devotees
adu seyyAr = will not do those things
seydArEl = (even) If they did it
nanRu = (only the) good ones
seydAr = they would have done”
pOlum = it looks that (is what)
enbAr = [the Lord] might have said.

(one in whose mind viShNu comes and stays), known as periyAzhvAr, was born in shrIvilliputtUr and was performing service (kaiMkaryam) to  the Lord by cultivating a small flower garden (nandavanam) and offering fresh, special garlands (mAlA) for the local deity. He is unique among  all AzhvAr-s in blessing the Lord with his “tirupallANDu” translating to “Long live for many, many, many more years”. His affection and loving care towards the Lord was so erupting (pongum parivu) that he could not control his motherly feelings of worrying about Lord’s safety. It was so incredible, that he went so far to the extent of completely forgetting about himself as an ordinary human being (aki~ncana cetanan) and started blessing the all powerful Lord (sarvashakti bhagavAn).

To escape from bondage (samsAra), for any individual soul, there are only two options – bhakti (deep devotion and constant contemplation) and prapatti (total unconditional surrender); the latter is an easier to perform, quickly rewarding, and universally applicable. In this kali yuga, one needs to go through an AcArya (teacher, guru) and shrI mahA lakShmI (inseparable consort of shrIman nArAyaNa) for the prapatti process to succeed. They are the inevitable recommenders and mediators.

We, as cetana-s, are submerged under the ocean of sins (pApam-s), hold on to the mother’s feet and beg her. Despite our ageless misdeeds and continued faults, lakShmI, by natural kindness (dayA) and extreme compassion (vAtsalyam), and tolerance (kShama), pardons us and recommends to the Lord for mokSham (ultimate bliss). The Lord may be the final authority for mokSham, but He has no choice, when shrI mahA lakShmI gives the recommendation. He may be the lord for everyone, but He still listens to His wife every single time. Thus, one notices the power that she wields and her ability to sway (vAllabhyam) Him. Her mediating efforts can be described as “She lies in between, where one side is the crib and the other side is the bed ( oru pakkam toTTilum, oru pakkam kaTTilum ) to take care of both of them”.

AzhvAr describes here, an imaginary conversation between shrI mahA lakshmI and shrIman nArAyaNa. lakShmI was referring a cetana that she has recommended for mokSham, sometime in the past. Now, she wants to verify His steadfastness and likes to tease Him. She pretends and says ” My dear, remember that cetana I recommended the other day! I didn’t know then, but now after looking through his ledger of never-ending sins, it looks that he is the worst of all sinners. His actions are so bad that I am now second guessing about my recommendation. So, please forget about granting mokSham to him and withdraw your offer.” Remember, this is just a test.

Hearing this, Lord gets really angry.Remember, this is true. He says “Not a chance! If I promise once, that is the end of it. I am never going back on My word. Besides, you said they are My devotees. They have reached Me as the sole refuge. If it is so, they would not have done those (wrongful) actions, whatever you are mentioning. Even if they had done something, all I see is only good deeds. I don’t see anything bad here like what you say”. Thus Lord ascertains His promise. In essence, bhagavAn will reject any charges made against His devotees even if they were to arise from His own inseparable consort, shrI mahA lakShmI herself.

When svAmi deshikan refers to tAyAr as utterly merciful and unaware of punishment (aj~nAta nigraham), why tAyAr, jagan mAtA (mother for the world) of all the people will do such an act, one may ask? She simply wants to assure the world that Lord will never go back on His word. He will not desert us. He will not let anything to stand in between Him and His devotees. The Lord is brimming with innumerable (asa~nkhyeya) noble qualities (kalyANa guNa-s). Among them, bhakha vAtsalyam (compassion towards devotees) and parama kAruNyam (extreme sympathy) stands tall. Because of this, when the cetana does prapatti once, He pardons and blesses him, however cruel he might have been in the past and keeps up His word, whatever comes up, as long as the cetana is still faithful like a married woman (pativrata).

Here, periyAzhvAr might have wanted to show the greatness of the Lord, but who wouldn’t say such remarks about his/her son-in-law? But shrI mahA lakShmI goes one step above of Him to prove two things. 1. Lord will keep His promise (satya vratan), no matter what. 2. Affirm the poor souls like us, that He will never desert us. To prove that point, to show the world the greatness of her husband, she even hides all her natural noble qualities and pretends to say things that are quite contradictory to her character. Now ask yourself, who is greater of the two? shrIman  nArAyaNa or shrI mahA lakShmI?

What we learn from here –

1. To err is cetana. to ignore is Ishvara. Don’t ever forget Lord’s infinite mercy.

2. Shrug off your anger and dislikes. When all powerful Lord Himself ignores our faults, who are we to get mad on someone?

3. Lift yourself high. Bad feelings come from myopic and microscopic look. It takes a great heart to be magnanimous.

4. Patience is not weakness. Respect people who are patient. Don’t go and tell them, “You are so dumb, if he would have done the same thing to  me…” etc.

5. Listen to your wife. Generally, she is more right than you are. (I know, now I am getting into trouble!)

But love is blind, and Lord cannot see Flaws of one, who made a frantic plea


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