Friday, April 13, 2007


On this day [9th April, 2007], the lecture was from the Thirukkannapuram temple. Normally, the Lord is decorated with Diamond studded Gold crowns. But here the Lord Sri Sowri Perumal is decorated with a wig. This has background story. There was an archaka [poojari] who performed poojas for the Lord. One night, his sweetheart came to the temple and after the pooja was over, the archaka gave the last remaining flower garland to the lady, who left for her home. Before he could draw shutters in the temple, the king of that place visited the temple. As per the tradition, the king was to be honoured with a garland of the Lord; but the garland was already given away to that lady. So the archaka, to avoid disappointment to the king, sent word and got back the garland from his sweetheart. Later, the king was garlanded with the same garland and the king also took the garland as a prasad [valuable gift] and went to his palace. There, the king found a long hair in the garland. Apparently, the archaka’s sweetheart’s hair got entangled in the garland. But the king was puzzled how hair could be found in a garland meant and used for the Lord and so he was angry and ordered the archaka be brought to him for enquiry. When archaka was asked by the king how hair was found in garland of the Lord, the Archaka to escape from the ordeal bluffed that in the Lord’s idol Itself, hair is there and so the same was found in the garland. The king could not believe it and wanted to satisfy himself by seeing the idol. So he got the temple opened and went to the idol. The Lord wanted to save His devotee from the wrath of the king and so there was really hair on the idol’s head and the king tested it to be true by pulling! From that time the Lord is called Sowri [Wig] Perumal. Such a devotee-caring Lord as Sri Krishna is preaching Arjuna. He says that all of us are eternal and we have been present now, then and in the future. A puzzled Arjuna says that while the perpetuality of Sri Krishna was not questioned, how Arjuna could have been eternal. Here Sri Krishna points to Arjuna that He meant the soul to be permanent and not the body. So in this sloka Sri Krishna postulates an important feature of the philosophy and is the foundation for all the remaining slokas in Gita. Everything in this universe could be grouped in three categories- Iswara, Chit and Achit. Achit are all those materials we see or hear or smell or taste or feel. Achit means without the intellect. The tombs of temples or the trees and plants or our limbs are all in this category as none of them have the intelligence. But all these are indestructible. One may wonder how this is true? We see tombs crumbling and trees are burnt. Here we should realize that only the form changes, but the matter remains in a different form. Gold might have become a ring or necklace but it remains as gold. Similarly, mud is made into a pot or plate etc. It can be made into mud again or in some other form but can never be annihilated. So an important point we should know about Achit is that it has no intelligence, but constantly changes its form and can never be drstroyed.
The second category is Chit, which means that which has the intelligence. It is also called Jeevatma or sometimes Atman. It is recognized by the ‘I’ in us. With that intelligence only we recognize various things around us. That is Chit recognizes Achit. So a Jeevatma using his intelligence understands Achit. This is the difference and relationship between the two. Apart from these two, a third is there and is called Iswara. Sri Krishna brings out all these three entities in the 12th sloka. He mentions about Him as “I” [aham] and Arjuna as “you’ and others by “they”. Sri Krishna represents Paramatma and He is unique. Jeevatma are many and are represented by Arjuna and all others. All materials are Achit. The Thatvatrayam is thus indicated in this sloka.

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