Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Today the 33rd sloka and first half of 34th sloka were taken up:
acaryah pitarah putras
tathaiva ca pitamahah
matulah svasurah pautrah
syalah sambandhinas tatha
etan na hantum icchami
ghnato ’pi madhusudana

Today's lecture was from the Kodanda Rama sannidhi in the Srirangam temple. Here the Lord Rama is with Sri Sita , Sri Lakshmana and and Sri Anjaneya in standing posture[incidentally, today is Punarvasu, the avathara star of Sri Rama]In this sannidhi also is the idol of Sri Kulasekara Alwar. He was born in a place called Thirumoonjikkalam, near Trichur, Kerala. In today's sloka there is a connection with Sri Rama's history.
Arjuna continues:"Oh! Madusudhana teachers,fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law,grandsons, brothers-in-law and other relatives are all eager to fight and kill"
Arjuna sees all relatives in the battle field. Whatever relationships one comes across in life are all there and ready to kill each other. Normally, if one comes across another in an unusual position like fighting, one gets shocked. Here they have all come to kill. In such a circumstance if Arjuna kills them it will not be considered as wrong. Even our own criminal laws permit killing a murderer in defence. In dharma shastras also if someone tries to poison or burn or tries to molest one's wife or grabs one's property, in defence he can be killed without further enquiry. In Pandava's case, Bhima was poisoned and thrown in the river by Duryodana and company. In the wax bungalow [arakku maaligai] all Pandavas were to be burnt alive and they escaped. The action on Draupathy was attrocious. And, their kingdom was grabbed. So, Arjuna can not be faulted if he kills these people arrayed against him. But he is full of mercy and compassion.
Here an episode in Ramayana is worth remembering.Sri Rama on exile comes to Chitrakoot along with Sri Sita and Sri Lakshmana. Chitrakoota is on the border of present Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and is a lovely place. If one wants to enjoy nature and get relaxed this is the place. During that time, Sri Rama and Sri Sita are sitting in the hermitage. Sri Lakshmana is atop a tree and spots a huge army and people approaching their hermitage and Sri Bharatha is leading them. He climbs down and informs Sri Rama and accuses that while Sri Bharatha's mother Kaikeyi merely drove Sri Rama out of the kingdom, Bharatha was now coming to take away Sri Rama's life. For this Sri Rama replies that Sri Bharatha will never do such a thing as He understood him. But even for an argument He accepted Sri Lakshmana's accusation, Bharatha need not kill Rama to retain the Kingdom for ever, but a mere utterance of his intention will kill Sri Rama. Such were the words of the Lord.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Today the 33rd sloka was dealt:
yesham arthe kanksitam no
rajyam bhogah sukhani ca
ta ime ’vasthita yuddhe
pranams tyaktva dhanani ca

Today's lecture was from the Sri Paramapada Nathan sannidhi in the Srirangam temple. This sannidhi is on the way from Thayar sannidhi via Sri Chakkara theertha pushkarini and on the way to 1000 pillar mandapam. Here Sriman Narayana is seated on the Serpent throne in Sri Vaikunta along with Sri Thayar and other Concerts. His right leg can be seen and the left leg is folded. We daily chant in the T hiruvaradanam 'kaveri virajam Vaikuntam seyam Sriranga mandiram..'This denotes that just as Viraja river is there near Vaikunam, Kaveri is there for Srirangam. And in this sannidhi He is sitting as in Sri Paramapadam ie Sri Vaikuntam.
Arjuna further says" For whom we desre to get these materialistic kingdom, happiness and pleasure are all arrayed against us in this war".Along side is Sri Andal sannidi. Here during the month of Margazhi [Dec-Jan] daily alankaram is made to depict that day's pasuram in Thiruppavai.
In the last verse he addressed Sri Krishna as Govinda. This has a significance. Govinda in sanskrit means He who is after land or cows. So Arjuna indirectly asks Him that you protect even cows but Arjuna is asked to fight with his guru like Bheeshma and Drona and kill them. Sri Krishna protects land but Arjuna is asked to fight with his kinsman to get those lands. After all everyone struggles in life to keep not only himself happy but others like spouse, children, parents etc. Mere money can not bring happiness. If a person is give enough money asked to live alone in an island, he would refuse and be prepared to be poor but be with his dear ones. So Arjuna is confused how by killing his relatives he can live happily without them.


Today the 33rd sloka was dealt:
yesham arthe kanksitam no
rajyam bhogah sukhani ca
ta ime ’vasthita yuddhe
pranams tyaktva dhanani ca

Today's lecture was from the Sri Paramapada Nathan sannidhi in the Srirangam temple. This sannidhi is on the way from Thayar sannidhi via Sri Chakkara theertha pushkarini and on the way to 1000 pillar mandapam. Here Sriman Narayana is seated on the Serpent throne in Sri Vaikunta along with Sri Thayar and other Concerts. His right leg can be seen and the left leg is folded. We daily chant in the T hiruvaradanam 'kaveri virajam Vaikuntam seyam Sriranga mandiram..'This denotes that just as Viraja river is there near Vaikunam, Kaveri is there for Srirangam. And in this sannidhi He is sitting as in Sri Paramapadam ie Sri Vaikuntam.
Arjuna further says" For whom we desre to get these materialistic kingdom, happiness and pleasure are all arrayed against us in this war".Along side is Sri Andal sannidi. Here during the month of Margazhi [Dec-Jan] daily alankaram is made to depict that day's pasuram in Thiruppavai.
In the last verse he addressed Sri Krishna as Govinda. This has a significance. Govinda in sanskrit means He who is after land or cows. So Arjuna indirectly asks Him that you protect even cows but Arjuna is asked to fight with his guru like Bheeshma and Drona and kill them. Sri Krishna protects land but Arjuna is asked to fight with his kinsman to get those lands. After all everyone struggles in life to keep not only himself happy but others like spouse, children, parents etc. Mere money can not bring happiness. If a person is give enough money asked to live alone in an island, he would refuse and be prepared to be poor but be with his dear ones. So Arjuna is confused how by killing his relatives he can live happily without them.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Today was the 32nd sloka:
na kankse vijayam krishna
na ca rajyam sukhani ca
kim no rajyena govinda
kim bhogair jivitena va

On this day also the lecture was from Srirangam temple. In the 'vazhi thirunamam' - that is the long live hymn- on Swamy Sri Manavala Mamunigal, it is said that if Srirangam is well looked after, all World will be looked after well. Such is the importance of this Kshethram, which has been sung by all the ten Alwars and which is unique.
Arjuna continues " [ after killing my own kinsman and freinds] I do not desire for victory, kingdom, or happiness. Oh Govinda what use is there of such a kingdom , pleasure or even life itself"
There are three broad categories of people in this world. Some want to live at the cost or destruction of others. Some others are there who will let others live and they also live. There are few more who will not mind their destruction to make others live. They are respectively bad, average and good - in sanskrit adama, madyama and uthama -types. Practically we can see in our lives examples of these types. A mother scorpion gives birth to young ones .All these come out of the mother's body by bursting the back of the mother, in the process the mother dies. They live at the cost of their mother.
In the case of a cow we feed them and we get milk and both we and the cows live. While the candle and sandalwood represent the third category. While burning and giving us light, the candle gets destroyed. Similarly, to provide fragrance, the sandalwood is destroyed. In fact it provides the fragrance even to the sharp cutting edge of the axe as the sandalwood is cut. Just as sandalwood is rare so also such good people are rare to come across. So in life one should identify and move with them accordingly. We should never go near people who try to flatter and entice us with sweet words but are scheming to live by destroying us. Though the relationship or friendship will continue we should be careful as to what extent we move with them. Arjuna sees no good by destroying his own relatives and Friends. Here he addresses Sri Krishna as Govinda and we will see in the next lecture why he addresses so.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Today's lecture is the second half of sloka 31.:
na ca sreyo ’nupasyami
hatva sva-janam ahave

"vede pourusham, dharma shastre manavam, purane vaishnavam, bharathe bhagavat gita"
So goes a saying which means that of the so many branches and manthrams in Vedas, it is Sri Purushsooktham the most important and similarly in various Dharma shastras,it is Sri Manu shastram, in the 18 puranas it is Sri Vishnu Puranam and in the thousands of slokas and 18 parvas with number of chapters in Mahabharatha, it is Bhagavat Gita , important.
Arjuna continues : Hey Keshava I do not see any good coming by killing my own relatives.
Here he addresses Sri Krishna as Kesava. Kesava is an important name of the Lord Sriman Narayana.Mere utterance of this name will abolish all the sins one had accumulated. In a pasuram in Thiruvaimozhi while adoring Sri Padmanabhaswamy of Thiruvananthapuram [Trivandrum] Sri Nammalwar says 'kesava ena kedum idarellam..'.In this temple the Lord is reclining on Anantha, the serpant. It is unique here that the garba graha -sanctus sanctorum- has three doors. From the first we can worship His Face, from the middle one His stomach with the Lotus and from the third gate we can worship His feet.
Thirumangai Alwar in a hymn praises the name Kesava saying it will wipe out all the sins accumulated over so many births. For each type of sin a particular hell or Narakh is indicated and the Alwar says that his sins entitles him to all the types. But Yama, mere sight of whom is so dreadful, comes and puts his hands on the shoulder of the Alwar and says could you not mention even once the name of Sri Kesava and avoided these. That is Kesava means in sanskrit that which annihilates klesha or sorrow.
Kesava also means the person having curly, black and thick locks of hair on the head.
It also means He Who killed the demon Keshi who came in the disguise of a horse to kill Sri BalaKrishna.
Lord Parama Siva says Sri Narayana commands Bramha[ka] and Iswara, that is himself [Isa] and so He is Kesava [ka+isa +va]
Arjuna indirectly is praying to end his present distress.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Today the second half of sloka 31 was explained:
nimittani ca pasyami
viparitani keshava
The lecture was started with a sloka on Sri Krishna : Kararavinde ...Mukharavinde...
This sloka pictures Him as lying on he tender banian tree leaf as a small child with holding the feet by His hands and the mouth tasting the toe. His feet are like lotus, His hands are lotus and His face and Mouth are lotus. Such a Bunch of lotus is delivering the Gita to Arjuna.
Here, Arjuna further tells Oh! Keshava, i see all bad omens.
Seeing that his dear ones have all assembled to fight, Arjuna feels that it is mistrust[ in Tamil it is nambikkai droham] and so his mind swirls and body trembles. This happens to all when something contrary to our belief happens. He notices some bad omens or signs ocuring heralding bad things are to happen.
The lecturer emphasised the difference between noticing natural indications and irrational beliefs[mooda nambikkai] In Ramayana, Vibheeshana cautions Ravana saying that right from the time Ravana abducted Sri Sita and imprisoned Her in Ashoka forest he saw lots of ill omen indicating annhilation of the Rakshasa community and advises his brother to release Sri Sita back to Sri Rama. So noticing nature for such messages is good. In the recent tsunami havoc also animals were able to know the disaster earlier and they escaped to safer places while humanbeings failed to notice those indications, as we are going awat from nature. This does not mean one should lead a beast's life but we should try to respect mother nature and preserve for our own benefits. Unusual howlings of fox or anticlockwise circling by birds are all to be noticed to be cautious. These should not be confused and we resort to everyting for such indications. Also resorting to astrology for everything is bad. Astrology is a great scince and our ancestors have developed that as a science and we are able to know eclipse etc accurately But refering to that foe every small thing is irrational. Besides if lady becomes a widow we should not treat her so badly. We should understand that it was not her fault that she lost her husband and she like any sanyasin lives a secluded life and so she should be given the same respects as we give to sanyasins. They also should be invited to functions like anyone else. We tnd to reject some stars as not auspicious. How can in God's creations such discriminations be possible. So all 27 nakshathrams are good and all the seven days of the week are good.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Today's sloka is latter half of 29th and first half of sloka 30:
gandivam sramsate hastat
tvak caiva paridahyate
na ca saknomy avasthatum
bhramativa ca me manah
Today's lecture was from the thousand pillar mantapam. This is the place every year during Raapathu [nights ten] which is also called Thiruvaimozhi thirunaal Sri Namperumal listens to Thiruvaimozhi of Sri Nammalwar with all other alwars in attendance This festival has been conducted for so many centuries that each pillar can tell so many history.
Arjuna continues: My bow Gandeevam is slipping and my skin is burning . I am unable to remain in this chariot and my mind is reeling.
When one thinks of bow or archery, immediately the names of Sri Rama, Sri Parasurama, Bheeshma, Dronacharya, Arjuna and Karna come to mind as they were all great archers. Such a hero feels that his bow is slipping. Gandeevam comes from the word Gand which means knot. The bow had many knots for grip and so in spite of it with such a troubled state of mind the bow was slipping from his hands. The bow of Arjuna is not an ordinary one . It was gifted by Soma Deva to Varuna who gifted it to Agni from whom Arjuna got it while helping Agni in burning down the Kanteeva forest . Normally, no warrior would that easily leave grip of his bow. In the Ramayana war, Sri Rama destroys the chariot and horses of Ravana and when Ravana stands only with a bow and arrows , Sri Rama breaks the bow and Ravana feels highly humiliated. Similarly, Sri Parashurama is humbled and He gifts away His Vishnu Dhanus to Sri Rama in acknowledgement of defeat. Arjuna has a name [I am unable to remember] which means he can hold the bow in either hand and fight. Such a person was unable to hold the bow.
Much earlier, Drona calls his sishyas Aswattama, Duryodana , Arjuna etc. when they were boys learning archery from Drona, and asks them to aim a bird sitting on a tree.Duryodana first comes and when he was about to shoot, Drona stops and asks whether he saw the tree, Duryodana says yes, and further he sees the bird, its feet etc. Drona asks him to keep away and asks Aswattama, his son, what he saw when aiming.Aswattama replies he saw only the bird and its feet etc. Drona asks him also to keep away and finally comes to Arjuna and asks him what he saw while aiming. Arjuna says he saw only the eye of the bird and nothing else and Drona pats him as the superior hero as he fully concentrates on the object and nothing else distracts. Such was the prowess of Arjuna.
Much before the war began, Arjuna in some context makes a vow or sankalpam that he may tolerate anyone if Arjuna is ridiculed but never if his Gandeevam is made fun of and he will kill such a person whoever it may be. After the war started and after a couple of days when the Pandava army was destroyed by the other side and Yudhishtra is very much annoyed and blames Arjuna that he was not up to mark and ridicules Gandeevam. Arjuna became very furious and as per his pratigya he wanted to kill his elder brother for making remarks about his bow. Sri Krishna sees this and wanting to end the feud amicably, asks Arjuna to address his elder brother with disrespect [like thum instead of aap in hindi] and tells it is equivalent to killing. his is a sookshma [subtle] Dharma that by disrespecting elders and great persons one almost kills them.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Today's sloka is the latter half of sloka 28 and full sloka 29:
arjuna uvaca
drstvemam sva-janam krishna
yuyutsum samupasthitam
sidanti mama gatrani
mukham ca parisusyati
vepathus ca sarire me
roma-harsas ca jayate
From the house of Sri Vedantha Desika today's lecture was given. Desika was born in 1267 and lived for 100 years. He made 28 sthothrams on various dieties besides drama, kavya and a number of works on sidhantha. His work on Gita is called Thathparya Chandrika and forms basis for these lectures.Paying our respects to that great Acharya we continue.
Arjuna now speaks: Oh Krishna seeing my people here to fight my body is trembling, my mouth is drying and the hair on my body is standing on end.
Arjuna finds all his relatives and freinds assembled. Normally such assembly will be for some happy occasion and people will be glad to be among the gathering. But here they have assembled to fight with each other and so he is saddened.
He addresses as Krishna and not by any other name now. Krishna in sanskrit ,by splitting the word Krishi+, means person who pleases earth. Krishi is farming or ploughing. By doing this we harvest and live happily. So also Krishna makes those living on this earth happy. Krishna also means dark blue or black which was the complexion of Sri Krishna. Andal says in her Nachiyar Thirumozhi ' Kannan ennum karundeivam..' Since He is not appearing before her, out of disgust, she says she wants to forget Him but she is unable to forget the black colour.
Black is considered beautiful. A black cloud brings happiness as it will rain and after exhausting its water content it turns white. So normally a person with good compassion and sympathy is likened to a rain bearing black cloud. Such a cloud does not rain for a particular section or persons but for the entire area without any discrimination. So also good people do not discriminate on the basis of caste or creed. So also God is.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Today it is the 27th sloka of Chapter1:
tan samiksya sa kaunteyah
sarvan bandhun avasthitan
kripaya parayavisto
visidann idam abravit
When the son of Kunthi [Arjuna] saw all freinds and relatives he was full of mercy or sympathy or compassion and spoke:
Today's lecture was delivered from the Sri Ramanuja Matham in the north Uthira [ul +thiru] street. Now it is occupied by H.H.Sri Sriranga Jeer, who accepts all the rituals gifted to Sri Bhashyakarar[Sri Ramanuja].In this place only Ramanuja lived in Srirangam and administered the entire SriVaishnava community. He was born in the star Arudra also known as Ardra. In sanskrit ardra means wet or water soaked. Normally those with compassion or sympathy are referred to in tamil[as also in other languages] as with a wet mind [ as opposed to dry mind or heart]. This is a very essential quality. Without this the importance of other qualities will be nil. For example, we refer to God as all knowing and all powerful. His knowledge is boundless and He knows all and everyone. His power also is limitless and He can tackle everyone anywhere and always. On the otherside, we are all mortal humans with limited capabilities and we commit endless mistakes knowingly and otherwise also. This God knows and He has the full authority to punish. So if only He did not have that mercy we can not imagine what will happen to us. So it is the quality of mercy makes us all approach Him and get what we want for our welfare,[TGS:in a sloka in Daya sathakam, Swamy Sri Desikan says that Hey Mother Mercy but for you all other qualities of Him will be dangerous for us]
During Ramanuja's time there was another sanyasin disciple called Sri Embar. His original name aws Govinda and was the cousin of Ramanuja. Once he bathed in Cauvery and came out and on the bank he saw a snake struggling because of a thorn stuck inits tongue. Embar out of pity removed the thorn carefully and again took bath and returned to the math.
His sishyas asked why did he remove the thorn from the deadly snake and now you have enabled it to start biting people and killing them. For this his reply was did the snake put the poison on its teeth or is it God's creation? Did it have the option to take birth as snake? It is the nature of snakes and we can not see it suffering.
Similarly we are all children of God and what use is there if we can not help each other in distress. Just as if one hand gets help from another hand because all belong to same body we should help each other. This will happen only when there is the quality of mercy.
Though Arjuna was a great warrior and his prowess in archery was famous , yet because he had that quality of mercy in him he was overwhelmed with compassion at the sight of the relatives and freinds in the battlefield.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Today the 26th sloka:
tatrapasyat sthitan parthah
pitrn atha pitamahan
acaryan matulan bhratrn
putran pautran sakhims tatha
svasuran suhridas caiva
senayor ubhayor api
From there Partha could see in both sides fathers, grandfathers, teachers,uncles,brothers,sons, grandsons, freinds,fathers-in-law and well wishers.
lecture was given from the house[thiru maligai] of Sri Mudaliyandan. His name was Dasarathi and was the son of Ramanuja's sister ie nephew. This house also is in east Chittirai street. Thousand years back Ramanuja got the authority to administer the temple and he devised the rituals, uthsavams and other functions to be carried out which are followed even today. Ramanuja wanted participation of all . He put Mudaliyandan in charge of administration and the nephew also did the job sincerely.
Now, Arjuna's chariot was parked in the middle of both armies so that he could have a view of all those who had come to fight. He sees so many relatives, freinds and teachers assembled.Here it is not important to know who were fathers, or sons etc. but it should be noted that those whom normally we consider as mutual help have all come to fight. This is the start of confusion Arjuna is going to have. In our life normally we regard freinds and close relatives as those who will always standby us. But it is practical that this does not happen and we are shocked to find when they do not support us.
Here an incedence in Srimad Valmiki Ramayana is to be remembered. When Sri Rama decides to fulfill His father's promise to Kaikeyi and goes to forest, He accompanied by Sri Sita and Sri Lakshmana, are driven in the chariot by the king's one of the ministers Sumanthra. At the banks of Ganga river Sri Rama and the accompanying two are to board the boat brought by Sri Guha and the time for taking leave by Sumanthra comes. With a heavy heart Sumanthra takes leave of Sri Rama and asks what is the message for His father, Dasaratha.Sri Rama replies that His heart was filled with sorrow and wants Sumanthra to tell His father that He will complete the 14 years exile period like 14 days and so Dasaratha should not feel sorry. He further asks Sumanthra to take care of His father. Next Sumanthra goes to Sita and asks for any message, She being a lady with more tender heart by nature, is unable to say anything. When it is the turn of Sri Lakshmana, Sumanthra asks him as what the message to his father.Lakshmana says the question itself was wrong. Puzzled, Sumanthra replies that he had asked correctly only. Lakshmana said that his message is only to the King Dasaratha. He regarded Dasarath no longer as his father nor did he regard Sumithra as his mother but for him all such close relations was Sri Rama alone.
Sumanthra after taking leave arrives at Ayodhya and reports to the king Dasaratha that Sri Rama had entered the forests. Dasaratha enquires what were the messages from them and Sumanthra tells what happened. But Dasaratha on hearing Lakshmana's message that he did not regard Dasaratha as father but Sri Rama as father, is overjoyed and embraces Sumanthra.
Here we should understand that all so called close relatives and freinds are neither dependable nor permanent and everyone should regard God as the true relative and freind. This way one can avoid unhappiness if a relative or a freind turned against oneself In fact it should be our endeavour not to expect anything from them so that disappointment never occurs.


Today the same sloka was dealt with.In practical life a slave never bosses over the boss but here it is happening because this is to show by the Lord that if anyone surrenders to Him , He will be at the beck and call of His devotees.
Here an anecdote is narrated.PeriaNambi, who was still in the grahasthasramam had Sri Alavandar, a sanyasin, as his guru and Sri Ramanuja, another sanyasin, as his desciple. Once Ramanuja, who had about 700 sanyasins and about 12,000 grahasthas as sishyas ,was coming around the temple streets. At one place PeriyaNambi, his guru appeared and suddenly, PeriyaNambi prostrated to Ramanuja, his sishya, when all Ramanuja's sishyas were seeing. One would have expected Ramanuja to hurriedly rush towards his acharya and stopped PeriyaNambi or Ramanuja also should have returned by prostrating to his guru PeriyaNambi. Ramanuja did neither and moved as usual and reached his ashram. Some sishyas were aghast at seeing this scene and asked Ramanuja why he did not do either of the possiblities and turned a blind eye. Ramanuja explained that if he had acted either way it would have shown that he has recogonised the falling at his feet by the Acharya and actually he never wanted such an action. So he was indifferent to that action.The same sishyas went to PeriyaNambi and questioned as to why he fell at the feet of his own desciple.Came immediately the reply from PeriyaNambi: to him Ramanuja appeared as his guru Sri Alawandar.
In Srimad Bhagavatham Sri Ambareesha tale is told. Ambareesha observes ekadasi vratham and on next day dwadasi, after performing pooja he completes the vratham by taking food. Once on such an occasion, on the dwadasi day as Ambareesha is performing pooja sage Durwasa arrives and after offering swagatham Ambareesha, the Ikshwaku king requests him to take food with him and help him to complete the vratham. Durwasa agrees and says he will finish his bath and come for food. But the sage wantonly delays to test the king. The king waits and seeing that the sage has not come and also noting that in the next very few minutes dwadasi thithi would end and if he did not take food before that all the ekadasi vratha efforts will go in vain, Ambareesha consults the pundits and takes water, though this was not a food yet it satisfied the conditions for the vratha and so the vratha got fulfilled, Durwasa was waiting for this and he immediately arrived at the spot and accused the King of inviting a guest and taking food before his arrival.The king's explanation went unheeded and Durvasa as usual in his anger cursed and he created a demon to devour the King, who respectfully with folded hands accepted the punishment. But earlier Sri Vishnu in appreciation of His devotee's sincerity, Had placed His Sri Sudarsana Chakra [Discus] in the custody of Ambareesha for protection. Now when the Durwasa created Demon was coming near the king, Sudarsana could not remain idle at the injustice and so the Chakra reduced the demon to ashes and started chasing Durwasa. Scared , the sage went all over to Sri Paramasiva and Sri Bramha for help and all expressed their inability. Finally, he went to Sri MahaVishnu reclining on the Serpent mattress and wit Sri MahaLakshmi seated by Him, and appealed to withdraw His Chakra. For this Sri Vishnu replied that He can not do anything and it is better Durwasa surrenders to Ambaresha for redressel. At that time He says I am Bhaktha aparadheena meaning He is bound by the wishes and orders of His devotees. Durwasa goes back to Ambareesha and falls at his feet and he was saved. Here, in Bhagavatham it is told just like a husband is enslavened by a dutiful Pathivratha wife, so is the God is slave to His devotees.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Today aws the 25th sloka:
sarvesam ca mahi-ksitam
uvaca partha pasyaitan
samavetan kurun iti

Sanjaya continues that Sri Krishna draws the chariot between the armies and positions it in front of Bhishma and Drona and other important persons and tells Arjuna "Partha look at all the Kuru [dynasty] people assembled here".
Today's sloka was delivered from the house [ thiru maligai] of Sri Periya nambigal also called Mahapoorna, in east Chithirai street, near Sri Koorathalwan house. Periya nambigal was one of the main desciples of Sri Alavandar, grandson of Sri Nathamuni who got the 4000DP in yoga directly from Sri Nammalwar. So Sri Nathamuni and Sri Alavandar are considered as very important Acharyas. Though Sri Alavandar realised the greatness of Sri Ramanuja and wanted to lead the Sri Vaishnavism and also deputed Periyanambi to bring Ramanuja, unfortunately,before Ramanuja could reach Srirangam, Sri Aavandar expired and so both have never met in real life. But Ramanuja learnt all the basics Sri Alavandar wanted to teach him from five desciples of Sri Alavandar and Sri Periya nambi is the foremost among them.
When the administration of Srirangam temple came to Ramanuja, he allotted various houses in the saptha prakara of the temple and for his acharya Periyanambi , his desciple Koorathalwar and his nephew cum desciple MudaliAandan he allotted houses near his matham.In another incidence sri Ramanuja was ordered by Sri Varadaraja Perumal of Kanchi to seek Periya nambi for learning.
Arjuna ordered Sri Krishna only to park the vehicle between the two armies but He stationed it in front of Bheeshma and Drona. There are several interpretations here. One is He brought the chariot in front of Bheeshma, Drona and also all others. Another is that since Bheeshma and Drona were in command He positioned the vehicle in front of them. Yet another interpretation is that since the Lord knows what is going to happen and He has to deliver a great lecture of more than 600 slokas, He should create an oportunity for that. If He had parked the chariot in front of Duryodana or Duschasana or Karna , perhaps Arjuna's anger will be roused and he would have immediately started the fight and we would have missed the Gita. Now after seeing grandfather and his teacher he will think as to why fight and Sri Krishna will start the lecture.Yet another is that the Lord gives one more opportunity for Bheeshma to cancel the war and stand by dharma. When the Kauravas tried to disgrace females in general and Draupati in particular, Bheeshma as a true learned person [gyani] should have gone to the extent of taking the sword and beheading all these wicked persons.In fact this could have been done by Sri Krishna also as soon as Draupati uttered " Hey !Govinda! Dwarakanilaya !Achyutha !pahi maam.."Here one great acharya -PillailokaAcharya- says that it is good He did not come from Dwaraka but sent sarees to save Draupati from disgrace. Had he come He would have killed Bheeshma for eyewitness to such disgrace being committed to feminity. Not only that He would have finished all the Kauravas. Not stopping at that He would have killed even the Pandavas for staking Draupathi as a bet.So Bheeshma missed a chance to prove that he was a real protector of the Kuru dynasty. Now by stationing the chariot in front of him, the Lord tests whether at least now will he awake to the massacre of Dharma and order for the halt of the battle and grant the share due to Pandavas or will he fight from the Kaurava side.
And He says to Arjuna- Look at the members of Kuru dynasty -that is look with full knowledge of these persons.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Today is the 24th sloka of Chapter1:
sanjaya uvaca
evam ukto hrsikeso
gudakesena bharata
senayor ubhayor madhye
sthapayitva rathottathe mam

Now Sanjaya told: Having told by Gudakesa[Arjuna] , Sri hrishikesa parked the magnificient chariot between the two armies and..[this continues in the next sloka]
This sloka meaning was being lectured in the hose [thiru maligai] of a great acharyan Sri Kooresa or koorathalwar located in east Chithirai street near the Thaer parking.[ In Srirangam there are three festivals when the thaer [or ratham or chariot] is drawn . During chithirai [april-may] frestival this chariot in east chithirai street will be drawn. Dyring month of thai [jan-feb] [ I also sent photos recently] another chariot in Uthira street parked near State bank of india on the southern side will be drawn. Yet another chariot called goratham parked in the junction of east and north chithirai street is drawn dourng Panguni[ march-apri] festival.
hough Sri Koorathlwar has not made any works on Gita he is remembered now as he practiced Gita in his life. He was born on Thai poosam in 1010 and so the 1000th birthday will be falling in 2010. Sri Ramanuja was born in 1017. hough elder he renunciated all his wealth and surrendered to Udayavar[ Ramanuja] as his disciple. He was a great zamindar in the village Kooram located between Kanchipuram and Arakkonam.
Sanjaya mentions the name gudakesa for Arjuna. Guda means sleep and Arjuna was endowed with the skill of conquering sleep. All of us require sleep to recharge our organs , whereas Arjuna could get that refreshness without a sleep. Our sleep stage is charachterised in 3 stages. he first one is Awakened or jagrath stage when all our organs and mind [mind is considered as an organ]are active. Next is swapna stage when all our physical orgns are inactive but mind is active. Finally the sushumna stage when even the mind is inactive. By practicing yoga at his will Arjuna could give rest to all these organs and be afresh always. Here it is to denote that such an extraordinary man is asking Sri Krishna. After parking the chariot Sri Krishna is going to talk now and that will contiue in the next sloka.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Today is the 23rd sloka of chapter1:
yotsyamanan avekse ’ham
ya ete ’tra samagatah
dhartarastrasya durbuddher
yuddhe priya-cikirsavah

Arjuna further tells Sri
Krishna " I want to see who all have assembled desirous of helping the evil minded Duryodhana"
Today's sloka was explained in front of Sri Vedanta Desika sannidhi [ near sri Thayar sannidhi] in Srirangam temple.Sri Desika has done a very notable commentary on Gita called Thathparya Chandrika. The present commentary is based on that work of Sri Desika.
Here the word priya is used as many of Dyryodana's freinds are not real freinds as they are not telling him what is right and what is wrong .In this world we come across two things what we like and what is good. Mostly these two will not be identical. Tender neem leaves are good for health but because of its bitterness we don't take them.[this example is same as our Sri Mukkur Swamy used to tell] Junk foods are liked by us but doctors say keep away from them. Sathyam bruyath;priyam bruyath..so goes ancient sayings which means one should always tell the truth but we will not like to tell nor we would like to listen as they will not be liked. No one wants to listen to HITHAM which is good for us. ruth also should be told and make that pleasant.

A real relative or freind is the one who advises hitham. Prahalada did this to his father and so Vibheeshana did it to his brother. Here Duryodana's freinds are doing the opposite so as to please him..

Thursday, February 8, 2007


yotsyamanan avekse ’ham
ya ete ’tra samagatah
dhartarastrasya durbuddher
yuddhe priya-cikirsavah

Sloka 23.

In today's sloka Arjuna tells Sri Krishna, let me see with whom I have to fight and who are with me to foght [my enemies].

We should see that the Lord obeys the orders of His devotees. In Ramavatara , in the Thretha yug[ 2n
d of the chathur yug] sage Vishwamitra arrives at Dasaratha's palace and the King welcomes the sage and expresses his happiness as sams as when rains come in a rainless area [since in the earlier periods sage Vasishta, the kula Acharya of Ikshvaku dynasty, and Viswamitra were foes Dasaratha presumed that Viswamira will never visit Ayodhya or his palace] and without any provocation promises to give whatever Viswamitra asks. Catching this point Viswamitra asks Dasaratha to depute Sri Rama with him to protect the yagna he is doing. Dasaratha is shocked and declines saying that Sri Rama had not completed even 16 years and so He may not be able to help him but Dasaratha offered himself to accompany the sage to protect the yagna. Viswamitra says that with his penance [thapas] he himself can destroy Thataka and other demons but since he was doing yagnam he could not divert his attention to anger etc and further said that Sri Rama could fill this task and other tasks kept waiting for Him.Dasaratha out of extreme love for Sri Rama refuses and so Viswamitra gets angry and starts leaving the palace in a huff. Noting that Viswamitra is seeking Sri Rama to perform more noble deeds like His marriage with Sri Sita, Vasishta immediately intervenes and advises the King to stop Viswamitra from leaving and hand over Sri Rama as requested. Dasaratha accepts this and Sri Rama is sent with Viswamitra. At the yagna , Viswamitra orders Sri Rama to destroy Thataka. Sri Rama hesitates as this was His first real test of valour and He does not want to use His bow and arrows against a woman. Viswamitra advises Sri Rama saying that she can not be considered as a woman and it was right to kill her. Sri Rama at that time remembered His father's words to obey Viswamitra and takes aim and kills the demon.As Sri Narasimha , to obey and make true the words of the Asura kid Prahalada, He appeared from the same pillar Hiranyakashipu bombarded.Thus He always obeys His devotees commands and so here Sri Krishna agrees to park the chariot between the two armies. [Kaurava side had 11 Akshouhinies of army and Pandava had 7 Akshouhinies. One Akshouhiny consists of thousands of elephants, thousands of horses, thousands of chariots and lahs of infantry]


Today's slokas:
Second half of sloka21 and sloka22
[Sanjaya is narrating the war as it happens to Dhridhrashtra and he says] Arjuna taking his bow tells these words to Sri Krishna" Achyutha, take my chariot between the two armies and place it there so that i can see those who have come to fight this war."
Here Arjuna orders and calls Sri Krishna Achyutha.
He orders the Bhagwan rather than requesting and this shows the intimacy between the two and also the extent to which the Lord will serve His bhakthas. Achyutha in Sanskrit means not letting down. here are two interpretations 1.He does not lets down His bhakthas and 2.He remains steadfast with His characters, words and actions.
Sanjaya and Dhrdharashtra were disciples under the same guru and once D asks Sanjaya as how even though both are learning simultaneously Sanjaya is clear in grasping and in understanding conceptions while D is not. o this it seems Sanjaya replied that if D will not get angry he will tell and says because Sanjaya does not have any cheating or deceiving mind. hat is he means D is possessing these evil qualities.
hat is why in the very first sloka D asks Sanjaya what do my children and Pandu's children are doing in Kurukshetra battlefield. Here actually D unintelligently conceals his desire to see Kauravas vanquish Pandavas. Sanjaya while narrating immediately tells that as Sri Krishna and others blow their conches the sound shatters the minds and hearts of Kauravas. D does not see the point as he is having a biased mind. Now also he does not understand the implication of the word Achyutha. hat is why at the end he tells D bluntly that victory is there where krishna is there. [Yatra yogeswara Krishno yatra partho dhanurdharaha tatrashri vijayo bhutir dhruva neethir mathir mama]


For the last couple of weeks Sri UVe Velukkudi Krishnan swamy is giving lecture on Bhagavad Gita titled Kannan Aaramudam [ he never diminishing Nectar of Sri krishna] for 15 mts on Podigai [DD] TV channel on all weekdays from 630am to 645am.He preludes with various topics like Srirangam and some Mahabharatha stories relevant to the sloka of that day. God willing i propose to briefly indicate the essence of each day lecture so that you will know what is Gita and what is our sampradaya interpretation. I will only give very brief points and if necessary any related stories.
I started listening to only from the 4th sloka and so i will start now and go up to today's lecture. God willing from tomorrow it will be daily only that days lecture. If you can suggest another method where i can keep all these in a consolidated form so that it may be useful for reference instead of opening so many mails i will be thankful.
Duryodana tells Dronacharya:In our army there are warriors to fight Bhima, Arjuna, Yudhishtra,Virata and Drupada who are all Maharathas[ a ratha can fight one to one, an Athiratha can fight single handedly many and a Maharatha can fight single handedly 11000 persons]. here are also other fighters [ on Padava side] like Dhrishtaketu, Cekitana, Kasiraja, Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Saibya.here are also Abhimanyu and sons of Droupathy.All are Maharathas. On our side we have you ,Bhishma, Karna, Kripa, Asvatthama,Vikarna, son of Somadutta [Bhurisravas].There are many heroes who are prepared to sacrifice their lives for me and well experienced. Our side is ably protected by Bhishma and their side is protected by Bheema.So you must give full support to Bhishma and take care of the army. Here even though the Commander in chief is Bheeshma but he is addressing Drona, because though Bhishma can wipe out the other side since he is grand father to both Kauravas and pandavas Bhishma has declined to kill any pandavas.This is irking Duryodana. On hearing these words Bhishma blew his conch to boost the spirits of Duryodana and immediately all drums, trumpets and others roared.
On the other side Sri Krishna and Arjuna are seated in their chariot and blw their conches-Panchajanyam of Hrishikesa [ Sri Kishna's another name which means not merely He controls His organs but controls everyone's organs]Devadatta of Aruna and Paundra of Vrikothara [ wolf bellyed Bhima],Ananthvijayam of Kuntiputra Yudhishtra, Soghosha of Nakula and Manipushpaka of Sahadeva. Similarly the King of Kashi, Shikandi,Dhrashtadyumna, Virata, Satyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupathi,others and the son of Subhadra [sister of Sri krishna and wife of Arjuna -Abhimanyu] all blew their conches. The sounds of these echoed from the sky and earthand shattered the hearts of the sons of Dridharashtra.
[from now on today's sloka.20 and half of sloka 21]Arjuna seated in the chariot with monkey [Sri Hanuman] flag took his bow and told these words to sri Hrishikesa. Vyasa who composed Mahabharata has introduced the word flag to denote that where Sri Hanuman is there victory is certain. Sri hanuman had Promised his brother Bheema [ both are aspects of Vayu- wind god] that he can not participate as a fighter in the Mahabharath war but will remain on Pandava side and bless victory.
[ there are many sites which give full texts to read the actual slokas and i am seeing this website:
http://www.bhagavad-gita.us/categories/Chapter-One-of-the-Bhagavad-Gita/ .
Perhaps you can find better sites.

Invocation ...

Srimate Sri Lakshminrisimha Parabrahmane nama:
Srimate Vakulabhooshana Mahagurave nama: Srimate Ramanujaya nama:
Srimate Nigamanta Mahadesikaya nama:
Srimad Athivan Satakopa Yatheendra Mahadesikaya Nama:
Srimate Srivan Satakopa Sri Veeraraghava Yatheendhra Mahadesikaya Nama:
Srimate Srivan Satakopa Sri Vedanthadesika Yatheendhra Mahadesikaya Nama:
Srimate Sri Lakshminrisimha Divyapadhukasevaka Srivan Satakopa Sri Narayana Yatheendhra Mahadesikaya nama:

Sri Mukkoor Lakshmi Nrisimha Swamigale charanam