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Able exponent of Dwaita philosophy

CHENNAI, SEPT. 7. While pursuing religious exercises, some people may develop a feeling that they are indispensable and even presume that they alone have been privileged to carry them out. With the passage of time, such activities, intended to invoke the grace of the Almighty, may become a routine affair, whether they form part of worship at home or in institutions. These persons, though devoted, may hence forget that like them, there may be many other interested persons awaiting their turn to express their devotional bent of mind to please God. Often, such men will be recalled and allowed to take a breather.

In the matter of acquiring scriptural knowledge, many scholars resort to endless study of texts, giving secondary position to religious duties. Caught between mere ``study'' and compulsory ``duties'' they may even resort to a path of their own. This state of spiritual stagnation may be encountered by even evolved souls and is likely to get appreciation from others but will not yield to the maximum expected gain and reward. A scholar of the 18th century experienced similar dilemma but the Lord intervened and showed him the traditional path and made him a distinguished exponent of the Dwaita philosophy and a religious leader. He was made to realise that at no point of time, a servant should decide what the master should do.

To enable this messenger, Sri Jagannada Dasa (whose Aradhana falls today), to take to the task of propagation, the Lord gave him two trials - an acute stomach ache and a premature termination of his life, both of which he was able to overcome through the guidance of his Acharya, Sri Gopala Dasa, who ``donated'' 40 years of his life to him, which enabled him to pursue his spiritual journey with accentuated vigour. As a ``dasa'' (servant of God and the Acharya), he went about spreading the divine glory through songs and hymns packed with the qualities of God and philosophy and the succour God gives when devotees cling to Him.

In a discourse, Sri Vignananidhi Thirtha Swami (Head of Mulubagal Math) explained how as one belonging to the ``Dasas'' (divine bards), Jagannada had no expectation except to win the grace of the Almighty and be at His service till the call comes. His work ``Harikathamruthasara'' is held as an encyclopaedia on devotion. As an ardent devotee of Lord Narasimha, he shed his mortal coil, leaning on a pillar in 1809. He had composed a number of songs and ``suladis'' and written a ``Prabhanda'' of 600 stanzas. ``I will aba

ndon My abode and be amidst devotees who adore Me through songs and hymns'' which are God's words, were totally applicable in his case.

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