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Chennai: Total surrender to Lord Narayana frees us from the samsaric cycle. But if one resorts to surrender, and is therefore liberated from further births, what happens to the punishment one has to face for one's sins? If a person is not going to have any more births, how will he pay for his sins? An example from the life of the Vaishnavite Acharya Tirukkacchi Nambi will serve to illustrate what happens in such cases, said V.S. Karunakarachariar.
Tirukkacchi Nambi served Lord Varadaraja of the Kanchipuram temple by fanning Him. He was always the last to leave the temple, for the Lord was in the habit of conversing with Nambi. One morning, when Nambi made his way to the temple, he was stopped by the temple guards. They said that a golden vessel belonging to the Lord was missing. Nambi was the last to leave the temple, and therefore naturally suspicion fell on him. Nambi was arrested and incarcerated for some hours. Later the vessel was discovered in the sanctum sanctorum, right behind the idol of the Lord, and Nambi was released. Nambi asked the Lord why He had tormented His devotee in this manner. The Lord replied that Nambi was going through a bad phase, in which Saturn was poised to trouble him for a period of seven and a half years. But since Nambi had resorted to total surrender, his period of suffering had been reduced from seven and half years to a few hours. That is when a person surrenders, the quantum of punishment for his sins is reduced, so that he pays for his sins, but has only a milder punishment than he would otherwise have had.
The two guards of Lord Narayana's abode were cursed to be born thrice and were to be slain by the Lord Himself. One of them was born as the asura Hiranyakasipu. When Lord Narayana assumed the form of Narasimha to kill Hiranyakasipu, He gave blood curdling roars, that struck terror in the heart of the asura. In the minutes before his death, Hiranyakasipu suffered a fate worse than death _ the agony of untold fear. And yet, since he was soon to die at the Lord's hands, he suffered for a few minutes what he should have suffered for many years.
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