Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Of the five Sri Krishna Kshetrams, Thirukkannankudi is one. Here, Sri Damodara Narayana Perumal is gracing the devotees. Thirumangai Alwar has composed ten songs on this Perumal. In one of the hymns, the Alwar narrates an incidence from the Mahabharatha. Sri Krishna is sent as emissary to plead, at least, for five villages. When He was to come the next day, Dhridarashtra, Duryodana and Sakuni confer to plan and get Sri Krishna on the side of Kauravas. Sri Krishna was not to be lured by anything except bhakthi. Wise persons like Sanjaya and Vidura, counseled them not to adopt such mean ways. They did not heed such advice. They schemed to trap Sri Krishna. So, they constructed a false floor in the assembly. Beneath this floor, wrestlers were housed in a chamber. The scheme was that Sri Krshna as He arrived in the assembly, would be asked to take a decorated golden seat kept on the false floor and the moment he sat, the floor will give way and Sri Krishna will fall inside the underneath chamber, where the wrestlers will pounce on Him and keep Him bound. Duryodana had also given strict orders that no one should get up from their seats when Sri Krishna entered the assembly. But when Sri Krishna entered, the first to get up was Duryodana! Sri Krishna gracefully entered making enquiries with the seated lords there. Duryodana requested Sri Krishna to sit on the specially erected golden chair. Sri Krishna declined saying that ordinary seat was enough as He had come as an ambassador. Duryodana insisted on Sri Krishna taking that seat only, he had cunningly erected. It is usual for anyone to suspect if one is offered a particular seat. Sri Krishna also grew suspicious, but decided to sit on that same chair. Having been brought up with rich nourishment, Sri Krishna was well built and so when He sat on the chair, the floor caved in due to the weight. Immediately, He took His Viswaroopam and His physical form stretched from far beneath to high up in skies. Duryodana’s plans were shattered to dust. Earlier He was a cowherd and now a gigantic figure. Sri Damodara Narayana Perumal also signifies the same. Damodara indicates the smaller cowherd obedient to His mother Yasoda. Narayana signifies the Great Figure Who encompasses the entire Universe. Damodara shows His simplicity and kindness to His devotees, while Narayana implies the boundless and unimaginable nature in Him. In the battlefield now, He is showing Him so simple and to patiently clear each and every doubt Arjuna has. Now, He says in the 16th sloka:

nasato vidyate bhavo
nabhavo vidyate satah
ubhayor api drsto ’ntas
tv anayos tattva-darshibhih

"Those great gyanis and philosophers have concluded that of the material body there is no endurance and of the the soul there is no change. This they have concluded by studying the nature of both."

He says that Arjuna should not think that these are only His findings; but these are the conclusions by great thinkers too. Here. Sri Krishna uses four words: sat –asat and bhava-abhava. Sat points to atman. Asat indicates body. Bhava signifies eternal imperishable nature, while abhavam means transient and perishable nature. Atman has the eternal imperishable quality and body has the transient perishable nature. Sri Krishna says ‘body [asat] does not have permanent imperishable quality. Soul [sat] does not have the perishable nature’. Instead of saying directly that atman is permanent and body is perishable, He says the quality of one is not found in the other. Atman will never have the nature of body and the body will never have the quality of atman. The character of both these are thus resolved with finality, by great gyanis and wise men. This sloka comes after the 15th one wherein it was told that those with high objectives would have to bear the twin pleasure and pain. An athlete bears the difficulties to win. So also Arjuna should train himself to bear the injuries in a fight. Does not a woman bear all the inconveniences for ten months so that she can fondle and play with her child? So one has to learn to bear the sufferings. By not fighting, can Arjuna avoid being hurt? One fears air travel saying it is risky. Next day while walking one gets tripped and becomes lame. So injury is inevitable. If one catches common cold he is advised that whether he takes any medicine or not the problem would remain for three days or so. One takes still a medicine as a safeguard and as a psychological need. So all these are migrants on our body and have to be regarded so. In the 11th sloka He mentioned ‘gatasun agatasums ca
nanusocanti panditah
’ [learned persons knowing the nature of body and soul will not brood] and now He reiterates this. A natural character of soul is permanency and that of body is changing. The only quality that is not changing in body is the ever-changing nature only! Atman never changes and body is ever changing. That is why some call this body as false. It is not to imply it does not exist like a rabbit horn or horse horn. But it means it has a false appearance and it is continuously changing. Nammalwar says in his Thiruvaimozhi “minnin nilayila mannuyir aakkaigal..” the body is not having the stability of lightning. How this is possible? After all lightning lasts only for a few seconds, while most of the people are alive for more than fifty years. Then, why Nammalwar says like this? Even a child will tell that a lightning will last only for a few seconds. But no one can for definite say that a person will live so many years. Thus there is always uncertainty about the body.

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