Today we will see the 46th sloka of Chapter I, from the temple at Sirupuliyur. The God here is called Sri Arul Ma Kadal and in Sanskrit He is Sri Krupa Samudran. There is a sannidi of Swami Manavala Mamunigal.Thirumangai Alwar has made ten hymns on this Perumal. Long ago a sage named Vyagrapada went to Sri Shiva at Chidambaram and asked Him to grant him place in Vaikuntam. Shiva asked him to go to Vishnu for that and he guided the sage in the guise of a lingam and to keep pace with Shiva’s speed the sage got Vyagra [tiger]’s feet and reached this temple. As the name suggests the Lord here is an ocean of mercy. Here the Lord is in a reclining posture facing south as in Srirangam and stretching His feet in the east direction. The Lord’s Consort is Daya Nayaki. At a time when the Adisesha and Garuda had a tussle, the Lord gave asylum to the serpent by asking him to be His bed and protected from Garuda. That is why the ground level of Garuda is slightly lower. Thus here He is appearing as One who settled a fight between Adisesha and Garuda. In the Gita also He is attempting to settle disputes and we will see how He does that. Again guessing a query from Sri Krishna that even though Arjuna may not be willing to fight, but the others here may not stop the war and fight and perhaps kill Arjuna, how could he avoid that? As though a reply to that Arjuna tells in the 46th sloka:
yadi mam apratikaram
dhartarastra rane hanyus
tan me kshemataram bhavet
“Even if the armed sons of Dhridhrashtra were to kill me, unarmed and unresisting, in this battle field, it will be better for me” It is not out of fear Arjuna utters these words that he will not even resist or return the blows he is to suffer in the battle; but out of shear mercy. Arjuna unlike Duryodana who in the beginning expressed his panic and doubt at the sight of the great warriors on the Pandavas’ side, is quite confident of winning the war. Besides, Sri Hanuman as flag on his chariot and Sri Krishna, the Lord of the Universe as his charioteer, Arjuna cannot have any doubts on his victory. With such confidence, his refusal to fight is due to the fear that he will incur sin or papa by doing adharma. That is why he says that he would not resist and in order to do that he will drop the bow and arrow and remain unarmed. This war also is like a havan or yagna. In yagna there will be sacrificial fire or Agni and the sacred materials or havis like ghee, curd etc. will be nearby. Using ladle or srakku the materials will be offered into the fire. If the ladle was not there, how can one perform the yagna? Similarly, Arjuna feels that by keeping away the arms, the fight can be halted. Both the sides are greedy to have the kingdom and so if they kill Arjuna who wants to remain passive and unarmed, it is going to get him greater kshemam or good. According to him that if he were to fight and either he wins and gets back the kingdom and the associated royal pleasures or he is killed in the fight and he reaches heaven for following the Kshatriya and yuddha dharma, it will be only good or kshemam. But better or kshematharam will be avoiding this great sin of killing the kith and kin and not participate in the war and remain passive, even if he is slained. With this Arjuna concludes his concept of this war. The essence of all the words spoken by Arjuna can be summarized as: Even when the Almighty Sri Krishna is on his side, he would not commit this great sin of killing relatives. Even if the regal pleasures were denied, he would not want to see the sufferings of the near and dear ones. Thus in spite of Sri Krishna’s help and the possibility of others’ mock at his valor, he does not want to commit this sin of slaying relatives and friends. Hereafter Sanjaya will narrate [to Dridharashtra] what happens next. Since this chapter deals with Arjuna’s perturbed mind it is called Arjuna vishada yogam.