THE MAGIZHAMPOO TREE AT THIRUKKANNANKUDI
Today’s [12thApril, 2007] lecture is under the Magizham poo [flower] tree in the temple at Thirukkannankudi, one of the five Sri Krishna kshetrams. We have seen that Bramham, Chit and Achit as the thatvathrayam and their relationship and differences. Sri Krishna tries to clear the doubt in Arjuna’s mind and tells that Atman is eternal and cannot be destroyed. Body is required and we have to take care of it to the extent possible and the perishable nature of it has to be kept in mind. Atman is pure and superior to body. We are now in Thirukkannankudi and here the Moolavar is known as Sri Lokanathan[Shyamala Meni] Perumal and the Uthsavar is known as Damodara Narayanan. Sri Thayar is known as Sri Lokanayaki [uthsavar Sri Aravindavalli]. Legend says that Vasishta out of his yogic powers used to prepare a Sri Krishna idol out of butter and it would never melt till his meditation was over. Once Sri Krishna in the form of a child came and swallowed all the butter and Vasishta chased the child to reprimand. But the child ran away and came to this place. Here lots of yogis were meditating and they knew the Child was Sri Krishna and they bound Him out of their yogic power. Sri Krishna then granted their desire to remain here with the name Sri Damodara Narayana. This is yet another instance that God listens to bhakthas [devotees] and none else. Koorathalwar, a great Acharya, says He can be tied only by Bhakthi [devotion]. Near the Sravana Pushkarini [temple pond] we will see what He says in the 13th sloka.
dehino ’smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
"As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A brave person is not concerned by such a change."
Sri Krishna says a brave man will not brood and lament. We see deaths and births. The great philosopher Adi Sankara says ‘punarabi jananam punarabi maranam…’It is a cycle, with births and deaths repeating. A soul can get released from this cycle only by uttering Sri Govinda’s name, says Adi Sankara. Atman as such is not born. When it contacts and resides in a body we call it birth. When the same atman departs from the body it was residing, we call it death. But atman never dies. In this sloka, atman is referred as dehi. A person is born as a child; he becomes a boy, then a lad and then old man. These changes pertain to body only and not to the soul. Sri Krishna calls him who understands this true nature of the soul a dheera or brave man. When a person becomes a boy after being a child but never laments that he lost his childhood. Similarly an old man does not mourn for the lost youth. On the contrary, we celebrate every stage in our life, like marriages, fatherhood, etc. The soul in the body- I - has been watching all these changes happening on the body. It is able to remember when the body was of a child and then of youth, etc. We remember when we started learning cycling and similar details. Another great philosopher Madhavcharya, says, we should lament when child becomes youth. Whereas we are happy and celebrate. We should realize that we are going from one phase to another. A worm while moving from one leaf to another, clings to the new leaf and leaves the earlier one. Same thing happening to body also and so there should be no room for worry and concern. A person with such attitude is called dheera.