Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tulida Goswami posted from one os Devotee

The Vinay Patrika is probably the second most well known composition of Tulsidas after the Maanas. It literally means ‘A letter of Imploration’ or ‘a letter of Plaint’. It is also portrayed as ‘Book of Petitions’. In the Vinay Tulsidas has prayed to all Gods, Goddesses, and holy places and so on in the form of a plaint for mercy from the evil pangs of Kali-yug.

The language used is Avadhi, however like the Maanas, Tulsidas has used bits of other languages too. There are a total of 279 Pads.

The Vinay Patrika is a collection of Pads (hymns) sung by Tulsidas in the devotion of love and prayer. Tulsidas has sung of his complete surrender at the feet of Lord Ram in all of the Pads in some capacity or another. Hence, all the Pads are written with total surrender and love for Lord Ram.

Tulsidas portrays the Vinay Patrika as a petition in the divine court of love that is in the court of Lord Ram.

Some scholars and books on the Vinay Patrika have given this concept a very fine structure and scenario where Tulsidas has created the Vinay Patrika to present it as a legal case which is to be heard in Lord Ram’s court in Kali-yug. The following is an illustration:

Five people who occupy the ‘Bench of Judges’. Lord Ram is the presiding judge to whom the whole case is narrated. Mother Sita is Lord Ram’s Expert advisor and consultant. Lakshmanji, Bharatji and Shatrugnaji are all Puisne Judges and who reside beside the supreme judge Lord Ram.

The case is being fought between the plaintiff and defendant. Goswami Tulsidasji who is resident of Kashi is the Plaintiff submitting the case. The Defendants are the six passions – Lust, wrath, greed, inebriation, attachment and Ego. The Co-Defendants are the nine vices - Violence, falsehood, pride, envy, strife, suspicion, jealousy, rivalry and covetousness.

In total there are fifteen Defendants who have been accused of Vice over Virtue in the Kali-yug. The Counsel for the plaintiff (Tulsidas) is Lord Hanumanji and the Counsel for the defendants is Kali-yug.

The submission of the case in the form of three stages – the invocations, the preamble of the plaint and finally the letter of plaint which includes his confession of guilt, arguments together with his humble petition for compassionate mercy as set out in the Articles of the Plaint.

The plaintiff (Tulsidas) respectfully prays, implores and beseeches the Divine court of Love (Lord Ram) to grant him compassionate mercy of the Lord’s grace and to restrain the 15 defendants from further persecution of the plaintiff and any of the Lord’s true devotees.

The supreme judge hears the case (Lord Ram reads the Vinay Patrika) and having evaluated the case from both sides, he sentences the defendants to complete banishment so as long the devotees are of pure devotion and hence he grants the plaintiff total freedom from the evil pangs (defendants) of Kali-yug. The judge then signs-off the case as closed (Lord Ram signs the Vinay Patrika). The plaintiff is free to go and the defendants are banished. (Tulsidas returns to Kashi without any danger or fear of Kali-yug harassing him).

Tulsidas presents his Vinay Patrika to the Lord in this way. In the Vinay, Tulsidas’ poetical art is presented tremendously and is at its very best. Each Pad and each verse of the Pad are adorned with beautiful words of poetry and hence impart distinctive fragrances to the Vinay. The first 63 Pads consist of invocations to the Gods, Goddesses, pilgrimages, characters of the Ramayan, and so on. The next eight Pads consist of Tulsidas invoking his beloved Lord Ram and the greatness of his name. The following 35 Pads are dedicated to Tulsidas’ own love and surrender for Lord Ram and his plight at the twist of his living in the Kali-yug.

The next 170 Pads describe Tulsidas’ petition and the core of his letter of plaint. In Pads 277 and 278, Tulsidas submits his Vinay (plaint) to Lord Ram requesting justice to be done.

Finally, in Pad 297, the plaint is heard and the verdict is given; Lord Ram personally signs the Vinay Patrika.


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