As the prayers, rituals, celebrations of the holy month of Maargazhi are on in full swing, and as one melts to the recitations of the divine Thirupaavai, we come across this line – Ongi Ulagalandha Uthaman Paer Paadi.. (Singing the name of the Lord, who grew and, who conquered the worlds..), which is in reference to Lord Vamana, who measured with his feet, earth, heaven and King Mahabali‘s head!
The beauty of these lines gave rise to the sprouting of an astounding meaning of the references, hidden in the fields of divinity.
Body, Mind and Soul comprise a trio. The Soul, whom we are; the Body, in which we reside; and the Mind, a bridge which guides, and misguides, balances and unbalances as well, the connection between the Body and the Soul.
The Body can be considered as the earth. Tough, physically sense-able, measurable, easier to understand, and conquerable. And Mind, the sky or the heavens. Undefinable, difficult to perceive, immeasurable, and not that easy to understand, and yet not unconquerable. And finally, the Soul, totally beyond any definitions (Mind, though had adjectives such as undefinable, immeasurable, etc)
King Mahabali had conquered the earth and the heavens. It was then that Lord Vishnu came in the form of a dwarf and asked for three feet of land as alms, from the King who was ruling the earth and the sky! When the King agreed, Lord Vamana grew to a gigantic size and measured the entire conquest of Mahabali‘s earth in a foot, and the sky in another. When nothing was left over, He asked the King for the third foot, when he offered his head, to be ‘conquered’. And the Lord obliged.
It is no wonder, for the comparisons are so obvious. One can rule over one’s body and mind. But conquering our soul, conquering ourselves, might seem easy, but not so; might seem tough, but not so, again! Definitely confusing, and that’s the beauty (or ugliness) of it! We think that we are our body and we are our mind. What we fail to recognize most of the times, is that we are the souls. We reside in a mind, and within a body.
King Mahabali had conquered the body and was owning it, to offer it to the Lord. He was ruling the mind, and was made into a good offering too! But conquest of the soul remained uncomplete. Once he gave up the so called possessions, the light of knowledge dawned and he offered himself (read soul; read head) to the Lord, which was the best of all offerings!
This conclusion is definitely, not immune from defects or debates. And view is always different and unique too. A lotus on a pond doesn’t look the same from different viewpoints, and so is a thought.
So much of thoughts from a single line of the thirty stanza long Thirupaavai. No wonder, it is referred to as the seed which contains the gigantic tree of the Veda!