Monday, April 16, 2007


Today [16thApril, 2007] also the lecture is from the Thirukkannankudi temple. For the sake of Vijaya [Arjuna] Sri Krishna came as a chariot driver and for the sake of the Universe at large, many invaluable doctrines were delivered. We are listening to the lecture from the banks of the temple pond sravana pushkarini. Sravanam means listening. By just hearing about this pond all our sins are washed away. One side of this pond is Sri Damodara Narayana and on the other side is Sri Veetrirundha Perumal, Who was the ruling Deity here. Even before Sri Damodara Perumal came running from Sage Vasishta and resided here, Sri Veetrirundha Perumal has been making this place as His abode. All are requested to visit this place where the innermost essence of Gita is residing here and worshipping Him, all can get blessings. In the 14th sloka, we saw that the connection with organs and elements creates sorrow or happy feelings. Every doubt expressed here is on behalf of us by Arjuna. He asks why should one bear these twins, happy and sorrow or cold and heat? By getting hurt in this fight, if we are to get any benefits we can bear that pain. Or, if it promises a better world after death also we can tolerate this pain. But the pain is unbearable here and by killing relatives and teachers only hell is assured, so this fight appears to be avoidable, says Arjuna. In reply is the 15th sloka:

yam hi na vyathayanty ete
purusham purusharsabha
sama-duhkha-sukham dhiram
so ’mrtatvaya kalpate

"O best among men [Arjuna], the person who takes in the same manner happiness and distress and is brave in both is certainly eligible for liberation."

Here, Sri Krishna mentions dheeram, which in normal connotation means bravery. But, where the surroundings are creating distress and one does not get worried, one is dheera. Where circumstances compel one to glee over but that one does not rejoice, that one is dheera. Winter or summer, if one takes alike, one is dheera. This is a difficult suggestion. Sitting in Himalayas one should not shiver and in a desert one should not ask for cool air. But a person of such temperament is a karma yogi. This is what Swami Vivekananda preached in foreign lands. If one can experience peace and silence in a very busy market area or the other way, he is karma yogi. Sri Krishna does not say all these sufferings will not be there but one should get accustomed to it and bear them. So a person who takes alike comfort and discomfort, qualifies for liberation. Here the word Amrutham is used and it means the place where there is no more death [and so rebirth]. In other words it means Sri Vaikuntam, the abode of Sriman Narayana. This temperament is also sometimes regarded as ‘seeing’ one’s own atman. But earlier Arjuna was telling that he may not get even heaven, one may ask. Here the Moksham or Sri Vaikuntam, is much beyond and superior to heaven and hell. This is because if one has to attain heaven, he should have performed good deeds or punya. Similarly, if one’s destination is hell one must have committed sins or papa. But what Sri Krishna says does not confine one to papa or punya and shuttle between this world and heaven or hell. In our lives we see both pleasure and pain. Marriages are celebrated and we are happy. Someone dies or some things are lost and we feel sorry. It should be kept in mind that when we are happy, some portion of our punya we had accumulated is being spent. Similarly, sorrow expends the gathered papa. Then, just think, should one be happy or mourning? If, as an example, grieving for ten minutes is going to reduce 100 papa units and similarly, if ten minutes’ rejoice is going to reduce our punyam by 100 punya units, surely, everyone will choose to grieve and exhaust the papa as quickly as possible. So, if we realize that to clear papa we are grieving, the grief will be pleasant, on the other hand, punya is spent by rejoicing, happy incidents will look bitter. So we should understand that it is natural in life to have both happiness and sorrow. In fact it is practical that, what was bitter sometimes back is pleasant now and vice versa. A shawl in summer is uncomfortable while the same shawl in winter is soothing. Bitter gourd was hated in our younger days but now after knowing the medicinal value it is sweet to us. So the objective of a good health makes us to choose what was abhorred as bitter in the past. So, He advises Arjuna that for the grand objective of maintaining Dharma, he should fight. During Indian Independence struggle, many took the physical torture inflicted on them with a smile, because, objective was noble. Those are all dheera. We are able to undergo minor surgeries after administering local anesthetic. We refuse to bear that pain without local anesthetic. But the freedom strugglers, for the sake of a higher target, took upon themselves pain with a smile. So it is only our habit and practice will make us dheera. The word purusham does not mean male, but atman. Our body is called puri and the one who is dwelling in that puri is purusha. The soul is not different for males and females.

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