Tuesday 10 July 2007

The Lord is Within Me

THE MADURA KING Pandyan was inclined towards Jainism.

His wife was the daughter of the Chola King and was attached to Saivism. She had heard of the great saint Jnana Sambandar, his powers. And she also came to know of his camping at Vedaranyam. The Pandyan Queen, with the help of a minister who was also attached to Saivism, sent an invitation to the Saint to visit Madurai and convert the king to Saivism. The Saint came accordingly. When the queen saw that he was a mere boy of about ten or even less, she had serious misgivings whether he could be a match for all the big Jain leaders surrounding the king and if by inviting this child she had put him in jeopardy.

When the Saint noticed this, he sang some songs, addressed to the queen and assuring her, “I am not in any way inferior to these Jains. The Lord is within me. Don’t, therefore, be afraid.

A devotee added, “The songs mention the names of Jain leaders, referring to them in contempt and stating, ‘I am not inferior to all these, as the Lord is within me’. It is amusing to read those songs.”

Bhagavan added, “This was after the saint came to Madurai. When the invitation reached Vedaranyam and Jnana Sambandar wanted to start for Madurai, Appar (Tirunavukkarasar) who was with Sambandar pleaded, ‘Do not start today. The day is not auspicious for you. They, the Jains, are terrible and powerful persons’. Thereupon Jnana Sambandar sang the Kolaru Padhikam, in which he again says, ‘As the Lord is within me, in my heart, no days, no planets, can affect me adversely and every day of the week is equally auspicious’.”

In the afternoon a copy of Thevaram was brought and the above two songs were picked out and Bhagavan read a few of them aloud. In the Madurai hymn Bhagavan referred to the last stanza and said, “When I explained the first stanza in the morning I gave the meaning as ‘Because the Lord is within me’ though the words only mean ‘Because there is the Lord’. I was wondering whether I was justified in my interpretation. I find in the last stanza it is clearly mentioned by the saint himself that what he meant was ‘Because the Lord is within me’. Besides, the same is clear from the whole of the Kolaru padhikam. Look at the last verse in the Madurai decad. With what authority he sings, ‘No harm can approach those who sing these songs of the king of Shiyali (Sirkali) and the Master of Tamil’. Similarly in the last song he says, ‘By my order those who read these shall be saved’.”

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