Supremacy of bhakti

The Bhagavata Purana highlights bhakti marga as an easy means for spiritual progress and God realisation. The Lord Himself explains the supremacy of Bhakti and surrender in the episode of Ambarisha and Durvasa, pointed out Sri B. Damodhara Dikshitar in a discourse. The Lord speaks at length on the exclusive bond that is established between Him and His devotees. He is always subservient to His devotees who seek Him for His sake alone and do not desire anything else from life. Such devotees cannot be let down at any cost, He says. The pious are His heart and He resides forever in their hearts.

Ambarisha typifies the true devotee, steeped in his experience of faith and devotion to the Lord. This confers on him peace and tranquillity. He does not entertain hatred or attachment towards people, places and objects of the world. He lives, acts and thinks in a righteous manner with his whole being totally dedicated to the Lord. Ambarisha’s act of taking a sip of sacred water as a token for completing the Ekadasi vrata he had undertaken is seen as a lapse in hospitality on the king’s part and Durvasa gives vent to his anger. He creates an ogre to kill Ambarisha. The Sudarshana chakra, a gift from the Lord, acting as His deputy takes charge of the situation, kills the ogre and chastises the sage by giving him a terrible chase. Though it is the Lord’s Chakra, He cannot recall it at the moment since He has not aimed it on Durvasa. Only Ambarisha can control it. So Durvasa gets back to Ambarisha and expresses regret for his anger.

Another aspect of the Lord’s nature is also revealed in this episode. Though the Lord has no enemies, is always free from partiality and bears no grudge against any being. He cannot bear to see any devotee of His being wronged.

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