Why do we praise and worship God in Sanatana Dharma | Hari Vamsa-03

Why do we praise and worship god in Sanatana Dharma

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The Azhvars reveal the gender of the Lord

The Azhvars of Southern India, in some of their poems, respond to the question of whether the Lord is male or female. They say “HE is not male; HE is not female; HE also does not belong to the third gender.” So people ask, then what is HE?, to which the Azhvars respond that the question has already been answered. When the pronoun “HE” is used, it means that the Lord is masculine but HE cannot be compared to the males of the mortal world, HE is not one among them, nor can HE be compared to the other genders on the material planet. The masculinity of the Lord is intended to convey the meaning that the Lord is all-capable and can grant any wish of the supplicant.  

Lord is only interested in maintaining a relationship with us

Many people approach Him for a good son, or a daughter, or for a bridegroom for their daughter, or for wealth, or for good health. The Lord presents to his many innocent devotees whatever they ask for. The Lord, only wants people to go to Him. The Lord is not particularly happy to grant the wishes of his ignorant sons and daughters, but he still grants their wish for the fact that, at least in this way they approach the Lord and maintain a thin thread of relationship with Him. The Lord knows very well that the happiness attained by his children on fruition of their worldly wishes is going to be fleeting, short-lived and most times, is only going to put the innocent folks in a spot of trouble. Even in their sadness, the foolish and innocent folk of the material world go to Him, to help them get away from their sadness. The Lord is happy to receive them, anyway. The Lord is more concerned about maintaining some sort of relationship with his unfortunate children who are groping in the world of material madness. 

Human Population is ignorant about its welfare

Maharaja Prahalad and Maharaja Dhruva attained the Lord at the tender age of 5 and displayed their level of intelligence by choosing to go the Lord’s way. But here we are, even at the age of 75, trying to decide whether it would be a good idea to get into Bhakti. We have been unfortunately wasting all the fruitful years of childhood, adolescence and adulthood in ephemeral pursuits, neglecting the most important duty of attending to the soul’s welfare, which is, to enter Bhakti. People consider the old and useless people to be the people fit for Satsanga, because they are not found to be useful to society. This is the sad state of affairs even in Bharath.

The Lord accepts infinite praises

The Hari Vamsha advises us to approach only the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for either material benefits or even for Liberation. One cannot approach celestials or Devatas for Liberation because they do not have the capacity to grant liberation to a living entity, because even the gods are Jivas, whose long term goal is Liberation, just as mortals on earth. The Lord is represented as “Isha” (ईश controller), the Supreme Controller. The controlling feature in fullness is only present with the Supreme Personality and in no one else, says the Hari Vamsha. The Lord is also “Wara” (वर which means Natural); Ishwara means the one in whom full controlling potency is naturally present. Only the Lord has the capability to accept and honor all types of services offered to Him, says the Hari Vamsha. If a human praises another human being, the one being praised has a limit to accept praises. He cannot have the capacity to digest or hear praises perennially about himself, he shall definitely want to stop others from praising him.  This is also natural, because there is a limit to tolerate lies. The Lord is being praised as Sriman Narayana, Sri Rama and Sri Krishna through many recitations of the Bhagavatha, Ramayana and the Puranas by millions of His devotees. The Lord simply accepts those praises because only He is praiseworthy true to His form and divinity. On the other hand, how much ever one praises and glorifies the Supreme Lord, that much more his heart is pacified and contented, He is happy that his children are praising Him, and through His praises, His children are thinking about Him and connecting with Him.

Is it justified to Praise the Lord?

People may wonder, “Is the Lord not ashamed to accept so many praises, and goes on happily accepting more and more praises?” To this, our answer is that, when praises are showered on a mortal almost 100% of the praises are fake and represent the most heinous type of flattery, done to impress, manipulate and take advantage of the mortal, because the one praised is also an infinitesimal mortal like the rest of us. However when million praises are showered on the Lord, not a single praise can be false. The more and more one raises the standard of praises, the truer it is, if it is directed to Him. Why should one be ashamed to speak the Highest Truth about the Lord? The praises about the Lord is not the same as praising a mere mortal. There can be no comparison.

Parashara Bhatta is unable to praise the Lord

There is an interesting story about Parashara Bhatta in relation to the glorification of the Lord. Parashara Bhatta came to the temple of Sri Ranganatha at Sri Rangam.  He started singing, the initial line of the song was “Oh Lord, I have come to sing about you.’ Lord Ranganatha immediately got up, ready to hear the song of Parashara Bhatta, goaded his devotee Parashara, “Oh. Is it, Sing Sing…, I am listening.” The next line of the song said “Alas, but I cannot sing. I have heard that your celestial couch, Sri Ananta, Adisesha has 1000 heads and 1000 tongues. If, I too have those tongues, maybe I can sing. I cannot sing with only one tongue” The Lord, immediately granted 1000 tongues to Sri Parashara Bhatta and then said to him, “ I have now given you 1000 tongues, now sing.” “I agree, but still I cannot sing”, said the Bhatta. The Lord further enquired “You said you needed 1000 tongues to sing. I have given them to you. Now why do you not sing?” “Because I cannot sing, so I asked a 1000 tongues, I never established that I can sing if you gave me a 1000 tongues.” replied the Bhatta. The Lord was confused “Why could you not say that you cannot sing, in the first go then?” The humbled Bhatta said “ Even to sing that I am not qualified, I required a 1000 tongues. Sheshanaga could sing your glories with 1000 tongues. So, for me, to actually sing your glories, You tell me how many tongues I require”, replied the intelligent Bhatta.  

Lord is Satyam (Purushottam)

The Lord is called Puruhutam (पुरुहूतम to accept all, how much ever given). Only the Supreme Being is capable of accepting all that one offers to Him, without feeling overwhelmed. He is Purushtutam (पुरुष्टुतम Fit for contemplation). Only the Lord is worthy of contemplation continuously, without a gap, without intervals. Only to the Lord, one can have Bhakti, proclaims the Hari Vamsha. Lord has another interesting name known as Satyam (सत्यम Truth). Satyam is divided into three parts namely “Sat” (सत्) “ti” (ति) and “yam” (यम). “Sat” represents the sentient, ‘ti” represents the non-sentient and “yam” represents the controller. Thus the definition of Satyam, is, the one under whose control all the sentient and non-sentient entities are .