Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ramanuja in Dasavatharam.

The different talks doing rounds in the internet on the film Dasavatharam
make me wonder how Kamal portrayed Ramanuja in Dasavatharam.

The highlight of Ramanuja's life and mission is
dissolving social differences
in matters pertaining to Hinduism and worship.

Certainly the shiva- vishnu differences or vadakalai- differences were not the main issues.

Ramanuja brought out a social engineering that ensured
that all are equal before God and that
all must have access to knowledge of God and ways to reach god.

I wish Kamal focussed on the main instance in Ramanuja's life
of declaring the Ashtakashara mantra (a guarded secret until then) to everyone
despite the warning from his teacher not to do so,
as that would send him to hell.

He thought that he would rather go to hell by making the secret mantra known others,
if by so doing, others were able to attain Liberation.
Such a trait can be seen only in a Messiah.
He brought in a message for humanity
that all are servants of God
and no matter what their social status are,
they are one and equal before God.

Only in the process of transferring this message into practice,
did he bring out the norms and regulations pertaining to God and worship.

His firmness in worship of Vishnu- group deities is because, only Narayana is responsible for giving Liberation or Moksha.
(see my posts on portfolios of gods written in different contexts on Gods in Hinduism).

He can not preach that people would get Liberation if they worship Shiva or Muruga.
Worshipers of respective gods will attain respective Lokas.
Worshipers of Shiva will get Shiva loka.
Worshipers of Vishnu will get Vishnu loka,
which is nothing but Vaikuntha.
Once a person reached Vaikuntha, he will not return to the cycle of birth and death.

Ramanuja did not denounce other routes of worship,
but was firm on following the route that can help one escape re-birth
and preached the world the efficacy of such a route.

In so doing, he was keen on bringing together people from all walks of life
and stood for a caste-less humanity in the worship of Vishnu.

If Kamal had brought this aspect in his film
that would have been the real tribute to that Saviour.
But from what Karunanidhi said on the inaugural function of the audio CD of the film,
I am afraid, Kamal has failed to grasp the core theme of Ramanuja's mission.

This makes me say that agnosts and atheists must never venture into topics of religion.

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