Today’s lecture also is from the Thirukkannamangai Perumal temple. Just as we would like to see our image in the mirror, God also wants to see His image. The Vedas act as a mirror reflecting the true image of the God. His vehicle Garuda is described as Veda Swaroopy or a personification of Vedas. That is a reason Garuda is in front of God in all temples. The Garuda has some importance in this temple and devotees believe that the Garuda here with Amrit Kalash or pot containing the fluid for immortality, will grant all the requests prayed for. The Garuda idol is always draped in a 9 yards checkered sari. The God here grants all boons and now we shall see what He is going to grant Arjuna.
tam uvaca hrishikeshah
prahasann iva bharata
senayor ubhayor madhye
visidantam idam vacah
“ Oh! Bhaaratha [Dhridharashtra] standing in between the two armies, Hrishikesa [Sri Krishna] with a smile spoke these words to the grieved [Arjuna]”
Arjuna, determined as he is, not to fight, looks for advice from Sri Krishna and He is going to speak in the next 600 or so slokas the essence of life. Sanjaya is narrating the happenings in the battlefield. He sees Sri Krishna smiling. The smile has several interpretations. Firstly, it is a sarcastic one at the behavior of Arjuna. The war is about to begin at any moment and both sides have blown their conches as a mark of their readiness to start the fight. At that time Arjuna tells he is heartbroken to fight. Though he wants to avoid war out of sympathy for his kith and kin, the world will think that he is withdrawing out of fear. He is also exhibiting his contradictory actions. When Draupathi was humiliated in the assembly hall, Arjuna burst like a volcano to kill the Kauravas and now he says he is feeling compassion. Next, the smile on Sri Krishna’s face also could mean the lecture He is going to deliver. If a lecturer wants proper attendance from the listeners, he has to put up a welcome face. The great Acharya Sri Parasara Bhattar, seeing the twin dimples on the Sri Namperumal idol, used to say that He appeared as though to say something. Next, the smile also signifies the toy Arjuna in the hands of Sri Krishna. Before the war commenced, Sri Krishna was sent as an emissary to explore the possibility of stopping the war. Then He was requested to participate in the war as Arjuna’s chariot driver. Now Arjuna is at His feet requesting for advice. Also Sanjaya is narrating the incident and hints to Dhridharashtra that the smile is actually a deception to the disaster that awaited the Kuru dynasty. The smile could also mean the great philosophy to be delivered to the World at large and using Arjuna as a ploy. He is smiling because through the forthcoming words so many ideas like way of life etc. are going to be told. This Sri Krishna is trying to tell with a body language, which Arjuna was fortunate to witness.