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Scriptures of Mercy(Anukampa-Desakam)-Class-1

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Here we have another sequence of ten verses around the central concept of kindliness, compassion, grace or mercy. Contemplation itself depends on the middle way implied in a loving and positive attitude. Exclusiveness, hatred, a unilateral position, stressing duality, all suggests the negation of life and love. Love and consideration for other living creatures is the basis of the good life and upheld as the central doctrine and commandment of all the world’s religions. We have touched upon this theme already in the Guru’s poems, but here spiritual expressions are correlated over a wide and varied range.


Such Mercy that even to an ant
Would brook not the least harm to befall,
O Mercy-Maker do vouchsafe with contemplation
Which from Thy pure Presence never strays.

This opening verse reciprocally links the one who prays and the object or prayer through the intermediacy of the one and the same concept of mercy. The kindness shown to an ant is of the same measureless quality as the mercy we expect from God in the form of grace. Both refer to one common central value belonging to the human personality. To love a brother is natural and instinctive, but to love a lowly creature like the ant demands an intelligent sympathy which thinks in universal terms.

When this universal idea of kindness applies to one and all, including the self, without any asymmetry or difference, the essential attitude belonging to contemplation is attained. Such contemplation knows neither distinction of subject or object but equates all factors impartially according to fundamental laws of knowing, which means reducing one factor in accord with its natural and normal dialectical counterpart.

Here the “pure Presence” is the Absolute conceived as a human value; while ‘contemplation’ is the intellectual or spiritual approach implied in appraising such a personalized value. The quality of mercy which “blesseth him that gives and him that takes”, is the common real living and actual factor which induces contemplation to yield a consciousness of the presence of the pure or the sacred in the sense of the Absolute. Neutral or global awareness as self-realization amounts to the same thing. Philosophically conceived as “knowledge”, psychologically conceived as “self”, cosmologically conceived as “the supreme divinity” or ethically and religiously conceived in the universal language of “brotherhood” or “mercy”, all these representing existence, truth and value, meet in this central concept which the Guru has chosen as the normative principle or correlation for all the various forms of spiritual expression.


Grace yields blessedness; a heart Love- empty
Disaster spells of every kind.
Darkness as Love’s effacer and as suffering’s core
Is seed to everything.

The inter-relation of factors is here stated concisely, both the joy-yielding positive and the suffering-productive negative forces. Grace is first equated to love on the positive side. Darkness and suffering are also to be understood as referring to the negative side of the personality. Just as knowledge tends to make a man generous and universal in his sympathy and outlook, opening out the restraining limiting power of the ego, so ignorance is the cause of hatred. All factors which produce the idea of value in connection with the self or personality of man are joined together in a certain way with the ambivalent principle underlying the whole. This principle regulates personnel relations according to a subtle dialectics of wisdom. This consists in viewing all neutrally in the light of the Absolute. This is a marvel too great for words. In common language we refer to such a reality as God. If we do not do so strictly all the time, at least we ought to do so. For then concepts like love and grace begin to have a consistently rational, convincing, non-dogmatic and even some kind of scientific meaning. Grace is only the positive side of one’s own love of life. We can place it in a heaven or in the heart of each man. Sin and grace must be taken together and fitted into a common context of self-knowledge so that all values have their place in the general scheme. When this is accomplished it would help to minimize ideological conflicts.

Elephant and Car

'Elephant and Car are alike

Both will make alarming noise.

Daily wash is necessary.

Maintenance is more difficult

rather than purchase.'

Narayana Guru

From the book "Sree Narayana Guru Vaikhari".
Written by Dr. T. Bhaskaran.

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