Thursday, March 8, 2007


Today 42nd sloka’s second half is taken up. The lecture continues from the Nagappattinam temple. As told in Gita ‘parithranaya…..sambavami yuge yuge’, the Lord appears for our benefit at various times. Thus He is now giving us a memorable Dharshan at this temple. Soundarya means beautiful and this can be witnessed here. Every organ and limb is beautiful. Specially for us He is appearing in Ratnangi or emerald embedded golden Armour. His feet are beautiful. So are His knees ,the Stomach, broad Chest where Mother Sri Mahalakshmi is always present. We can see the grand Sudarsana Chakra or Discus in the right hand and the Panchajanya on the left Hand. On the stomach is a string in which one can see a bunch of keys like all of us do. He opens the gates of this Universe. He is adorned with innumerous ornaments and we see the shapely neck and above that His captivating face. Is it the rain bearing cloud or is it magic? One may wonder at the graceful face. Lotus will retreat at the beauty of the large Eyes. The Nose is so shapely and lotus will hang in shame after seeing His Lips. His long arm point to us to surrender unto Him. Here the Lord appears with a hand in Dhana Mudra. That is He is appearing to donate. The Naga girl was given in marriage to the Adisesha. This enchanting beauty captivates Thirumangai Alwar and like our women folk exclaim, the Alwar also says after seeing every organ of the Lord here. Achcho!Achcho!!.Look at the Lips and it seems He is telling something. What is that He wants to tell? It is the Vedas and the essence of Vedas. Essence is nothing but Gita and so it is not improper if we conclude that the Lord here is none but Sri Gitacharya.He has been decorated with ornaments and on the ears also He has ornaments. Carefully if we look, we can notice that the Ornament on the left Ear is different and He is adorned by green emerald. He is the King and so appears with the most fashionable ornaments. We also nowadays notice that the youth sport earrings on one ear alone! So this fashion had originated much earlier. Now we shall see the Gita sloka: patanti pitaro hy esam

“With the destruction of the dynasty, the deceased forefathers will not get the water and cooked rice offered in annual ceremonies and so they will fall from their position in Pithruloka upside down “ Here Arjuna says that since the forefathers are same for Duryodana and Pandavas, by fighting and killing the forefathers will be deprived of the rituals. Thus the need for doing one’s duties to one’s forefathers is emphasized here. Doing such rituals for one’s deceased parents, grand parents and further is very important. These deceased persons or Pithrus derive satisfaction when their prodigies perform the specified ceremonies according to the custom of the families and so they bless them with happiness and prosperity. Alwar also says that such persons who perform their duties to their pithru get all happiness here in this world and in the upper worlds. One may wonder as how the udaka or the water and the pinda or the cooked rice made into a ball, offered in these ceremonies can satisfy the deceased person who is not seen but is assumed to be somewhere. This does not appear to fit into this 21st century, one may ponder. Some call these as irrational or foolish beliefs. Es, we should not do irrational things. But if we do not misinterpret the Vedas and do as prescribed in the shastras they will not be irrational. Annual or monthly ceremonies or those prescribed during Amavasya or done at Gaya or Badari or remembering our ancestors and bathing in sacred rivers are all prescribed by shastras. So the pithru or ancestors appreciate anyone doing these. We need not think that the water and the rice are going to them .God only watches whether we are following His instructions.

One incidence in Mahabharatha will make this clear. Bheeshma as well known was a great person who performed all rituals as prescribed in shastras. His father was Santhanu and when Santhanu was alive to please him to marry the boat man; ‘s daughter Matsyagandhi, he forsake the right to kingdom and also to avoid any of his successors claiming the kingdom, he made a oath not to get married and thereby getting the name Bheeshma. Naturally, the affection of his father was very great. After Santhanu’s death, when Bheeshma performed the rituals such prescribed in shastras, the deceased father wanted to take the pindam directly from Bheeshma to show his great affection and love. So during the ritual when the pinda was offered Santhanu’s hand emerged from the ground to accept the offerings. But as per the shastras the offerings are to be made to the ground only- bhoomena dattena pindena- and so Bheeshma refused to directly offer in the hands of his deceased father. So learned scholars and our ancestors were following what was ordered in the shastras as that would please the God and if He is pleased we will lead a peaceful and happy life. So Arjuna refuses to deviate from the paths of elders by killing and destroying the dynasty.

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