ull¯asapallavitap¯alitasaptalok¯ınirv ahakorakitanemakat.¯aks. al¯ıl¯am sr¯ıra ˙ngaharmyatalama ˙ngalad¯ıparekh¯am.
¯ sr¯ıra ˙ngar¯ajamahis ım. sriyam¯a´sray¯amah
This is a sloka from Acharya Parasara Bhatta’s Gunaratnakosam. Sri Ranganayaki Thayar is gracing the devotees as the Pattamahishi-the Queen seated with the King on the same Throne- of Sri Ranganatha. Similarly, Sri Kamalavalli Thayar graces as Pattamahishi in Urayur. Mahishi means the queen empowered to seat along with the king on the same throne. This incident happens once a year. On the Aslesha star constellation [in Tamil Ayilyam] in the Tamil month of Panguni that is on the 6th day of the Panguni Uthram celebrations Sri Namperumal visits Urayur. In the hall called Friday Mantapam, Sri Namperumal and Sri Kamalavalli Thayar grace the devotees together. Then on the eighth day of the celebrations He comes on Horse vahanam [vehicle] in the streets. On ninth day in the Uthra star constellation, Sri Namperumal with a desire to grace the devotees together with Sri Ranganayaki Nachiyar comes to the Thayar Sannidhi. But Thayar with a pretended resentment that the Lord had been to Urayur and been with Sri Kamalavalli Thayar shuts the door and prevents the Lord from entering Her Sannidhi. This is called Mattayadi or Pranayakalaha Uthsavam. Repeatedly He tries to enter and every time the doors are closed for Him and He remains tired. When He pleads for opening the doors, She demands where He had been and He replies He went to Urayur to bless the devotees. With this type of wordy duel going on, Nammalwar arrives in the scene and mediates between the Two and settles the ‘dispute’. From about 1P.M. that day both the Thayar and Sri Namperumal appear ‘together’ [seththi in Tamil]. Thus the seththi will be on Aslesha at Urayur with Sri Kamalavalli Thayar and on Uthram at Srirangam with Sri Ranganayaki Thayar, in the same Tamil month Panguni [March-April]. This gracing the devotees together in Srirangam will be there till midnight. Some 1000 years back on a similar day, Swami Ramanuja made his surrender and recited his famous Gadya Thrayam. Then the Divine couple will have Thirumanjanam [Holy Bath] eighteen times. Then in the early hours of next day, Sri Namperumal will reluctantly, take leave of Sri Thayar, and will ascend into the Goratham [a type of chariot], which will be dragged in the streets by the devotees. With such unforgettable scenery of the Divine couple, we will see the 38th sloka, which also talks of some couples:
sukha-duhkhe same kritva
tato yuddhaya yujyasva
naivam papam avapsyasi
"Do thou fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat—and by so doing you shall never incur sin."
Sri Krishna says no sin will recur to Arjuna. Why? Because Arjuna is to fight for the purpose of a fight [yuddhaya yujyasva]. That is without considering any other outcome, only for the sake of a fight, Arjuna should fight. So an action without a desire for any result will never bring any sin for killing Bheeshma or Drona. Considering equally happiness and sorrow, Arjuna should fight. When the enemy is killed, it is happiness. When enemies hit, it pains. Both can never be equal. What is implied is that one should not jump and dance with joy at enemies’ loss and not feeling worn-out when one is hurt. It is about the state of mind, which has to be steady in both happiness and sorrow. Similarly, gain and loss have to be viewed equally. Also, victory and defeat have to be treated with the same temperament. This sloka thus becomes the foundation for the practice of karma yoga, which is to start from the 39th sloka. Sri Krishna stresses the need for the tranquility of mind for any karmayogin. Arjuna was not willing to fight for the sake of kingdom or royal pleasures. Sri Krishna says He is also not asking Arjuna to fight for those trivial reasons but for attaining Moksha or the Eternal Freedom. Will fighting lead anyone to get Moksha? Yes, being a Kshatriya, Arjuna’s duty was to fight in battles started for noble causes. So, anyone who performs the duty, assigned to him, uninterruptedly, will attain Moksham. Though there are different paths leading to Moksham, for Arjuna fight for dharma is the way. Any action with a set objective will yield that alone. We can perform pooja for health or for success in exams or procurement of job or for Moksham. Similarly, the war also could be fought for various reasons. But Sri Krishna is asking Arjuna to set Moksham as his objective and fight. Any action performed with Moksham as objective is karma yoga. Such a person perceives happiness and sorrow, profit and loss and victory and defeat, equally. He does not perform any action for petty needs but for a very superior objective. A fight for parking car in front of one’s house and the fights our freedom fighters had, to liberate the country, cannot be equated, as the objectives are on different planes. So, Arjuna should fight for the sake of fight with the objective that this action will lead him to Moksham. Arjuna smiles with disbelief as how Sri Krishna is preaching this. But Sri Krishna says that He is asking Arjuna to practice what He practiced in His earlier Avathar as Sri Rama. Sri Rama is to be crowned as King. Before that He entered the palace of His stepmother Kaikeyi, majestically. But in the palace, He was denied the Kingdom and was asked to go on exile to forests. With the same Majesty He walks out of the palace. In fact, Tamil poet Kamba describes that when Sri Rama entered the palace, His face was a lotus bud only. But after He was denied the Kingdom, His face glowed like a fresh-blossomed lotus.