Monday, Apr 07, 2003
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One such incident happened in the life of Bhodendra who was a leading saint in the devotional tradition, which practises chanting the Divine name as the means and the end of spiritual life. He happened to overhear during his peregrinations a householder enquiring from a scholar well versed in Dharma about the antidote for a heinous sin. He prescribed the Divine name, Rama, and when the purification rite was over the saint himself accepted hospitality from the couple thereby proving to the world that such corrective measures should be accepted in letter and in spirit.
In his discourse, Sengalipuram Sri Damodara Dikshitar said the instance of Ahalya restored to her pristine form when Lord Rama visited Sage Gautama's hermitage attested to His compassion towards wrongdoers. Among the incarnations of the Lord it was as Rama that He extended succour to even the worst offenders and promised that He would protect anyone who surrendered to Him. Ahalya's husband Gautama cursed her to remain invisible for her act of transgression till the Lord's benevolent grace would redeem her to her original form. When Rama visited the hermitage of Gautama at Sage Visvamitra's instance, Ahalya, who had practised austerities waiting for this moment, emerged before them and offered hospitality to the Lord along with her husband who also appeared then. The Lord gladly accepted it thereby proving that there is hope for anyone who repents for his misdeeds.
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