Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sri Paduka sahasram intro


what then about justice, which is called retribution? To give men their due is justice and justice is all their due. What do they deserve? “Use every man after his desert and who should escape whipping?” Well, the conviction is all right, but the sentence seems so ridiculous as to make the conviction itself a travesty. That is man’s plight and it is a plight in which he has landed himself. Only he does not like that truth about him to be told. Man is revelling in deception and the worst of all deceptions is self-deception. In that self-deception he has been committing self-stealth. It is from that he has to be redeemed , and it is of that he has to be acquitted. No earthly tribunal can or will redeem or acquit an offender; for it is all a tribunal of mere requital. Man can not be redeemed and acquitted in justice. Justice is impartial. It is the impartiality of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Justice is vindictive. It vindicates itself by committing on the offender the very offence for which he is condemned. Can that be true justice? Is to do justice, merely ‘retribuere’? Are not the so called tribunals of justice, municipal as well as international, committing the very thing they profess to punish? Would not the meting out of such a justice reduce those tribunals to mere bumbledoms? It is in the answer to those questions that one discerns the glimpses of the foundations of human hope and faith. The answer is to be found in God’s mercy. That man has survived judgment – perhaps in that judgment because it is God’s and not man’s ( of which more later) – is the most compelling proof of God being soaked through and through in eternal and infinite mercy. The conception of justice as ‘retribution’ pure and simple is wholly inadequate, if not misleading. What man deserves is not judgment, for he has already had it in the very commission of the offence. The commission carries with it its own judgment. “The first and worst penalty for sin” says Seneca, ‘is to have committed sin….; the punish ment of crime lies in the crime itself” { Epistles XCVII} It is God-ordained and is automatic on the commission. What man needs therefore is not judgment, for he has already had it in the commission of the offence, but only a redemption from it. It is a treatment for the malady and not a condemnation for it by the infliction of another malady that he stands in need of. Man’s need is surgery and not butchery. He may not be alive to his need but God is. The need arises from the judgment and the judgment is God’s. All justice is the justice of reaction and all mercy is the mercy of redemption, and both are God’s. God is just to all in His mercy and merciful to all in His justice. The merci ful God has been mindful of the sinner and it is in that remembrance that the sinner has been surviving. God is biding His time for treatment. The surgeon’s function is not to judge, to treat the patient. The surgeon is not there to condemn the patient to the disease contracted by him, however much the patient might have sinned against the laws of Nature in contracting it, or to inject another disease into him in vindication of the laws of Nature which the patient has violated, but to redeem him out of it and to restore him to his primal health. The very need for the surgeon is in the fact of the violation of the laws of Nature and in the consequent contraction of the disease by the patient. The more the malady the more the need for him. God, the free surgeon of humanity, the ‘one’ surgeon of mercy, in His essential cleanliness and kindliness, treats the patient sinner, redeems him from his sins, and restores him to his primal health of sentient service. Man, in that treatment, becomes so sterilised with His cleanliness as to become proof against sin, and so healed with His kindliness as to attain to the fullness of his sentient status without any possibility of ever lapsing from it. The “two fold attribute” of God – ubhayalinga as it is called by Vyasa, – cleanliness and kindliness is suggestive of the metaphor of the surgeon as well as of the sovereign. To the author Mercy is herself the surgeon and her sister “attributes” of God are attendant nurses. [DAYASATAKA :34,67,71, 101. Cf; Perialwar 5.3.6; Kulasekhara alvar5.4] God’s omnipotence omniscience and all the rest are truly the “sisters” of Mercy. God’s “foot” is that mercy and Paduka is that mercy in extension. It is the extension of the “foot” of God from the Empyrean Heaven of Heavens to the bowing head of the penitent sinner. It is in that extension that man is redeemed and affiliated to the redeeming “foot” in everlasting service. That extension stands for the discent of God as well as for the accent of man. {Paduka 61, 100, 266, 267,et passim} If God’s “foot” is His Glory, His Paduka is His greater glory; for it is His own “foot” in extension. It is to that greater glory of God that the author sang these thousand songs and himself became the extension of the Paduka he sang – the servant of God’s servants [Paduka 998,1001,1005]