Tuesday, May 1, 2007


“Kaveri viraja seyam vaikuntam ranga mandiram sa vasudeva rangesa prathyaksham paramam padam”. Srirangam is surrounded by Kaveri on both sides [it is an island]. On the north it is called vada thiru kaveri. Lots of historical places are there. We are at one of the bathing ghats in the Kollidam or vada thiru kaveri. This is called Thirumangai Alwar Padithurai or bathing ghat. This Alwar was the last of the 10 [or 12] Alwars and has composed six prabhandams or collections. Lord Ranganatha was so pleased with the Alwar that He was ready to grant the Alwar anything he wanted. The Alwar only prayed that all those who come and worship Him should be blessed. The Lord asked the Alwar to throw his famous sword as far as possible. This was the sword once he showed to frighten the Lord and later was enslaved by the Lord. The sword fell at this place in Kollidam bank. So this is also called padiya val padithurai. Anyone who dies in Srirangam gets the Paramapadam or Sri Vaikuntam, from where there is no more the agony of rebirth. People perform last rites at this point in the north Kaveri here. Sri Adi Sankara in his Ranganathashtakam says a person dying here has nothing to worry as he reaches Vaikuntam. When a person dies he is cremated and the body is reduced to ashes or mud. The soul is reborn. This continues. Everything created is destroyed. After destruction follows construction and the cycle goes on. With this, the 27th sloka is made:

jatasya hi dhruvo mrityur
dhruvam janma mrtasya ca
tasmad apariharye ’rthe
na tvam socitum arhasi

"One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament."

Sri Krishna continues His anuvadam. All born are going to die and the dead are going to reborn and so why Arjuna should mourn? Arjuna gets fresh doubts. He asks Sri Krishna, if the cycle of creation and destruction are natural, then victory gained by him in the war will also be followed by loss. Here we have to remember a point. No doubt the cycle of gain and loss is natural. Extending this logic, if one gets illness, one decides to go to hospital. But if one is cured, one is going to fall again sick, so why go to hospital? A student studying for examinations, may, with this logic say why write the exams, after all any success is followed by defeat later? But, this logic cannot be applied for every small thing we do. If we fell sick and we get cured, no doubt we may again fall sick in the future. But it may not be the same type of illness. We see a good item to eat. We should not immediately think whether this will be permanently satisfy me. So, we should not use this logic in our daily routine activities. Arjuna has a dharma to perform and so he should not get drowned in the thought that Bheeshma and Drona will cease to exist but apply this logic that they will be reborn again and no one can totally annihilate them. In logic there is one argument called thath karya vadam. It means the non-destruction of matter. From this we understand that matter cannot be created anew. Only existing matter undergoes changes and appears as a new one. In science we come across terms discovery and invention. If someone finds a new land or country, we call it discovery. Because even before he found, that land existed. On the other hand, we say telephone was invented, as such a device did not exist earlier. Sound waves etc. already existed but the telephone harnesses and makes it easier for the listener to hear voice from distant place. Actually, nothing new can be created but existing substances get changed or modified and appear as a new object. Threads are woven to make cloth. This is change in the category. So when Bheeshma is killed, his body will change to mud and that mud will enable a plant to come up. When a person is suffering, the near ones say that somehow if that person continues to live, it would be all right for them. Same thing here also. The body of the slain has changed to mud and supporting a plant. The soul takes a rebirth and thus no one ceases to exist. Only forms change and all remain in one form or other.

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