Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Today the sloka 40 was taken up from the same Sri SoundaraRaja Perumal sannidhi. Here the main Deity is in standing posture. On the side one can see Sri Narasimha seated and another side Sri Ranganatha in reclining posture. Thus in this single temple one can have a darshan of the Lord in all postures. Outside the temple on the northern end of the East Mada street is situated Sri Desika sannidhi and on the southern end is the Sri Krishna temple. Just as the Lord is beautiful here, so are the Gita verses flowed from His mouth. Now we will see the sloka 40:
kula-ksaye pranasyanti
kula-dharmah sanatanah
dharme naste kulam krtsnam
adharmobhibhavaty uta

Arjuna continues: "With the annihilation of a dynasty , the kula or family traditions are destroyed and this will give raise to adharma or sins flourishing [ and thereby the reduction of entire mankind]"
Arjuna tells the importance of preserving one's family tradition and customs. Every family or dynasty has a unique good deeds or customs. Some families ensure that they always feed the poor or annadhana.Some are in the habit of digging wells for the village or community. Some impart education and so on. If a family is destroyed it means stoppage of such good deeds for the community. It is therefore, necessary that every community preserve and continue good deeds for the welfare of the society. Even if we do not know the family tradition for doing good deeds we can start one and continue by involving our children and their children.
An incidence from Srimad Ramayana can be recalled here. Sri Vibheeshana comes to Sri Rama who has camped at the shores of the ocean. A debate arises as to whether Sri Rama should accept him or not. Sugreeva the monkey king opposes acceptance of Vibheeshana. At that time Sri Rama tells Sugreeva that as per His dynasty -Sri Raghu kula- customs anyone surrendering is accepted and He narrates how one of His ancestors, emperor Sibi, gave asylum to a pigeon chased by a vulture and finally to appease the vulture, he cut off his own flesh and saved the pigeon. Sri Rama also narrates another story of an ape, thereby indicating that Sugreeva, also an ape, was forgetting what his ancestors followed. Once a man was chased by a tiger and he ran helter skelter and finally he climbed a big tree, fully exhausted.The tiger could not climb the tree but at the same time knowing that the man had to come down and not wanting to lose its prey waited at the foot of the tree. The man thought he had escaped the danger but that was short lived as on the tree top there was an ape and he did not know what to do. At that time the ape spoke to the man allaying his fears and told that anyone who has come to its abode will be protected and assured that the man could remain on the tree as long as he wants and he will be protected. Seeing this the tiger thought unless the friendship between the ape and the man was broken, the tiger will not be able to get some meat to eat. So in the night when the ape was asleep, the tiger told the man that the tiger wanted some meat to quench its hunger and if the man could push down the sleeping ape , the tiger will eat the ape and go away so that the man can escape. The evil minded man thought that was a good way to escape and without even for a moment thinking of the gratitude he owed to the ape, pushed down the ape , which fell down. Immediately, the ape woke up and realised the treachery of the man.The tiger however, was not interested in ape flesh and so told the ape that since the man had double crossed the ape , the ape could go up the tree and push down the man. The ape nodded and hurriedly climbed back on the tree and now the man was trembling. But the ape coming near the man said that its family tradition was not to let down anybody who had come to its abode, even if the guest was ungrateful and so told the man not to be afraid. Here Sri Rama underscored the great tradition of an ape and indirectly hinted that Sugreeva was not recommending giving asylum to Vibheeshana.

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