Mr. Mahalakshmi


Article by Sri Sadagopan Iyengar Swami, Coimbatore


It is customary, rightly or wrongly, to make fun of husbands who prefer to let their wives make the decisions.

This is based on the premise that women are better off executing tasks set for them by theirmale counterparts. Of course, the days of ladies playing a subordinate role are long gone, and these are days of egalitarianism, with the wife having as much say (if not more) in running the family and deciding matters, as the husband. In many households, women virtually head the family, financially and otherwise. Equal opportunity is the name of the game, and there are laws on Women Empowerment, and more laws to prevent injustice to and exploitation of the fairer sex.

This is the situation prevailing today, after women have waged a long-drawn battle for their rights.
Wouldn’t it surprise you to hear that long long ago, someone willingly acknowledged his wife’s supremacy, and awaited her approval even for his routine functions? And before you ask, no, the lady is not a domineering type, nor the husband hen-pecked. They are in fact the ideal, harmonious couple, the envy of every other married pair in the world, and have been extremely attached to each other, from time immemorial.

Adiyen can hear a die-hard male chauvinist voice moan “who could be the fellow?”.
It is none other than the Lord.

If this sounds funny, please note that this is asserted on very good authority- that of Sri Koorattazhwan, who says that the Lord awaits a green signal from His Consort before embarking on His job of Creation-

“YasyA veekshya mukham tat ingita parAdheenO vidhatthE akhilam” (Sri Stavam).

So complete is the lady’s authority that She deigns to convey consent not by word, but only through _expression_. Hence it is this lady whom we have to thank for our being fortunate enough to attain a human birth, for if She had not so willed, we would still be indistinguishably bundled up with non-sentient beings, in a state of semi-existence that follows every pralaya (achit avisishtAn pralayE jantoon”-Sri Daya Satakam). That this world of sentient and non-sentient beings would not have been born at all, but for the enlivening glance of Piratti, is brought out by Sri Alavandar in ChatusslOki-“eeshat tvat karuNA nirIkshaNa sudhA sandhukshanAt rakshyatE- nashtam prAk tat alAbhata: tribhuvanam samprati anantOdayam”.

We have been used to thinking that Emperuman creates this world out of infinite mercy, to enable jeevatmas to endeavour for liberation by adopting a suitable strategy therefor. Wrong, says Sri Parasara Bhattar. Much as a new groom flaunts His prowess before his bride, the Lord too indulges in Creation to “show off” to Piratti. This is akin to a peacock unfurling all its glorious feathers, in a bid to impress its mate. Sri Bhattar makes fun of the Lord in the following sloka from Sri GunaratnakOsam-

“PraLaya samaya suptam svam sareera EkadEsam
Varada chitachit Akhyam vistruNAna:
Kachitam iva kalApam chitram Adadya dhoonvan
Anusikhini sikhIva krIdasi SrI samaksham”.


If further proof were needed of the Lord’s abject surrender, it is provided by His making His in-laws’ house His permanent residence. Emperuman resides with pleasure in the Milky Ocean (TiruppArkadal), which is after all the birthplace of Mahalakhmi (“KshIrOdajE” “Samudra tanayAm” etc). And He is so enamoured of His bride that He can hardly let Her out of His sight, and insists on Her staying extremely close to Him, in fact on His chest (“agalakillEn irayum endru alarmElmangai urai marba”). These provide a clear indication of who calls the shotsin the Divine Household.

It is thus not surprising to learn that Emperuman’s identity, as the Supreme Lord, is itself proved only through His association with Piratti (“SvarUpa nirUpaka dharmam”). It is for this reason that Azhwars address Him tirelessly and variously as follows-

“TirumagaL sEr mArban”
“Tirumangai nindraruLum deivam”
“Tiruvudai adigaL”
“Tirumangai tannOdum tigazhgindra TirumAlAr”
“MalarAL maNavALan” etc. etc.

Conversely, deities like Brahma and Shiva, though powerful by themselves, do not enjoy the Supremacy and glory of Sriman Narayana, as they are not associated with Piratti, and, as such, are not to be venerated, says Sri Tirumazhsai Azhwar- “Tiru illA dEvarai tErElmin dEvu”.

All of Emperuman’s glory is due to His being the husband of Piratti, says Srimad Ramayana( “SitAyA: charitam mahat”)- “apramEyam hi tat tEjO yasya sA JanakAtmaja”


With all this, is anything wrong in calling Emperuman “Mr. Mahalakshmi”?

Article by Sri Sadagopan Iyengar Swami, Coimbatore



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