Monday, March 26, 2007


Today the lecture is from the same temple vimanam [the Dome above sanctum sanctorum]. A mere sight of this vimanam will give the same happiness as in Sri Vaikuntam. This Vimanam is called Utpalavataka Vimanam, which means no attachment to one’s body. That is one will have everlasting devotion to the Supreme Being. Below this dome resides the complete splendor of Sri Sowriraja Perumal. The Lord declares Sharanya Mukundatwam here. Sri Nammalwar dedicates the 9th Decade 10th Thiruvaimozhi all the ten hymns in praise of Thirukkannapuram.In one of those hymns says that saranamagum than thaal adaindavarkellam maranamanal vaikundam kodukkum piran’. Those who had earlier surrendered to Him are granted Vaikuntam [the eternal bliss from where no rebirths for the soul]. This is called sharanya mukundatwam. Thirumangai Alwar has sung 100 songs in praise of this temple. A unique feature of this Vimanam is that this cannot be seen anywhere from the ground, because it is surrounded by walls on all four sides. But if one wants to have a glimpse then one has to climb up to the terrace and then only the Vimanam will be visible. Now on the terrace near the Vimanam, we will see the 6th sloka:

na caitad vidmah kataran no gariyo
yad va jayema yadi va no jayeyuh
yan eva hatva na jijivisamas
te ’vasthitah pramukhe dhartarastrah

” [Uncertainity in the battle and so] whether winning or losing is better for us. When not interested to live by killing these children of Dhridhrashtra, the same persons are arrayed against us”. Bhagavat Gita has a reputation that a recitation of a chapter or half of it or a sloka in a chapter or half or even quarter of a sloka will accumulate punya. This is to emphasize that every word in this sacred text is rich and brimming with significance.

The first half of this sloka tells Arjuna’s predicament. Though Sri Krishna is of the opinion that the Pandavas will be victorious, practical knowledge tells that the result in any war is uncertain. Also he is in a quandary whether winning the enemies is good or not. While happiness may be there, after winning Arjuna will also face the bloodstains in their future. Instead of killing the teachers and the relatives, it looks better to abandon the battle and live on begging. So he is caught in a dharma sankatam. This happens when one is caught in a situation not knowing which decision would be wiser. Not killing teachers is a dharma; at the same time fighting a battle also is a Kshatriya dharma. Besides he is not sure of winning. In the latter half of the sloka, Arjuna argues with an assumption. He could assume victory will be his. But the persons, whom he does not wish to kill and wipe out a dynasty, are all prepared to fight with and kill the Pandavas. This is the same as a defeat in the battle. This can be explained by some examples. A father scolds the child not to wander about and get bad health, which will prevent the child from attending the ensuing examinations. The child never listens and so the father is angry and beats severely the child for disobeyance. The child cries and develops fever and as a result of this the child is unable to attend the examinations. The father is in a quandary similar to Arjuna’s plight. The father does not know whether he did the correct thing.

Or, in another example, one’s friend is a drunkard and any amount of advice does not correct him. Once the one and his friend take to a betting that the friend will not drink at least for twelve days. If the friend does not drink for twelve days he will be declared victorious, otherwise the one will be declared triumphant. The friend is unable to control his urge and so after four days he starts drinking. Now the one has won the bet; but can he be happy on that. His idea was to stop the friend from drinking and on that count he is defeated. This is the position akin to Arjuna’s.

Yet another example from Srimad Ramayana. Sri Rama is in Chitrakoot and Lakshmana spots Bharatha coming with troops and thinks that Bharatha has come to drive away or kill Sri Rama and so prepares to go and fight with Bharatha. Sri Rama stops him saying that Bharatha is not of that nature and he is coming to request Sri Rama to return and take over the kingdom. Continuing Sri Rama says that even if Lakshmana’s assumption was right, Sri Rama will consider having been killed by Bharatha the moment He realizes Bharatha’s such intention. That will be a breach of trust Sri Rama has on Bharatha.

Arjuna therefore feels that there was no use in fighting when the near and dear are all arrayed to fight.

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