We regard Sri Rangantha as the Lord of Vaikuntam. Srirangam is considered as Bhooloka Vaikuntam. Such famous Sri Namperumal’s temple was invaded and so Pillai Lokacharya carried the idol in a palanquin to this village Chedikulam at the foothills of Anaimalai near Madurai. The idol was concealed in the cave from where today’s lecture is given. Now the Samprokshanam was done. Sri Ranganatha’s Paduka [sandals] have been installed here. This is a sacred place. The Lord protects the entire world and Pillai Lokacharya protected that Lord. From here we will see the 50th sloka of Chapter II. If some guests come to our house and we properly take care and feed them and when they take leave if we express our gratitude for their visit, then it is recognized as proper nurturing of guests. This will bring in all good things in life. On the contrary, if we demand or expect a reward from them in return, then it is not guest care. Our deed becomes an inferior action. Sri Krishna tells this only. Fighting in a battle is Kshatriya’s duty. Do not expect whether one will get swarga or victory. Fighting should be done as Arjuna’s duty. If he did like that, then Sri Krishna Himself will grant the highest reward of Moksham. A deed done for a sublime cause elevates the doer. If the deed is done with the thought that it would please God, it is Karma yoga. So while doing karma or deed, our intellect or buddhi has to be involved. The buddhi or understanding should be that we are not doing the karma for inferior rewards like swarga. The karma is not being done by us. This karma will please God. These thoughts or understandings are needed while doing any karma. Instead if it is done as a mere karma, it will engage the person in rebirths. The thought or understanding that we are doing karma as a devotion to Him and we have no ambition for swarga or material comforts in this world, will make God to grant Himself all our needs. When we request God for anything it would be limited but if God Himself grants it would be profuse. So, instead of praying God to grant this or that, we should leave all our requirements to His judgment and devote ourselves in His service. This is a basic tenet of Karma yoga. In the preceding 47th, 48th and 49th slokas, Sri Krishna explained the difference in mere karma as a ritual and karma with intellect involved. The latter is superior. So, He advises Arjuna to resort to this understanding while doing karma. While fighting in the battle, he should have the understanding that this is his karma and by doing so he would please Sri Krishna. By pleasing Him, Arjuna will get all happiness. We have to see sloka 50. In the 50th and 51st slokas Sri Krishna mentions two rewards. In sloka 50 He says all undesirables will be destroyed from us. In sloka 51 He says we will get our desires fulfilled. It is usual for anyone to wish that things he disliked were all destroyed and get only things he liked. But the things disliked and things liked vary from person to person. Universally there should be something, which is liked by all, and something else hated by all. All like devotion to Him and reaching His feet. All would dislike what does not please God. There should not be difference in this common like and dislike. We should avoid the rebirths and associated miseries in life. Without the fluctuation of happiness and sorrow, but only everlasting happiness at His feet is what we should aspire for. Sloka 50:
tasmad yogaya yujyasva
yogah karmasu kausalam
"A man engaged in karma yoga with the buddhi [understanding] rids himself of both punya and papa even here itself. Therefore strive for yoga, which is the talent of all work."
Here yoga is the buddhi or understanding that the karma is being done not for inferior objectives but only as a devotion to Him. So, Sri Krishna advises Arjuna to strive for this yoga. In any work we do our intellect should be involved. When a mother feeds her child, though milk is fed, her thought that she is its mother is always there. So this becomes a noble one. In contrast, the commercially available milk does not establish a relation between the child and the mother. This is an inferior act as mere feeding is done. An action by itself cannot elevate a person unless the intellect also is involved. Iha means while doing the karma. With proper understanding or buddhi that the karma is being done as a devotion to Him and not for any inferior rewards, when the person is doing the karma yoga – here itself- he relinquishes both punya and papa. Therefore Arjuna should strive to get that buddhi. Arjuna should fight, as it is his dharma. By doing that he should realize he will be pleasing the Lord. Pleasing Him will make this life happy and bring in the eternal happiness by reaching the feet of God. But a thought that this fight will enable him to experience blood smeared victory and kingdom, will bring rebirths and the associated miseries. Kausalam is talent. Sri Krishna says that both papa and punya are expended. How can doing karma nullify our papa and punya? How are these related? These doubts may arise. How our performing karma destroys the invisible papa and punya? This is one query. It is all right papa is destroyed, but why should the punya also be got rid of? After all everybody is trying to acquire punya. Why then Sri Krishna says punya as well as papa will be removed? We should know what are punya and papa. We do certain karma and they may bring punya for us. Some other deeds may bring papa. These are not written anywhere as we do various deeds whether any are for punya or papa. But these are engraved in Him. They cannot be wiped out nor there will be any misappropriation of one’s papa and punya are accounted for someone else. If our deed pleases Him, they are punya. If our deeds are displeasing to Him, then they bring papa. This will raise the doubt why then we should remove the happiness in Him i.e. punya? We will see it in the next lecture.