Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Yesterday [18th June, 2007] due to power failure in the cable operator’s premises there was no transmission of programs and so I could not listen to the lecture. From today’s lecture I guess yesterday the 58th sloka was explained. For the sake of continuity I give below 58th sloka as found in a website:

yada samharate cayam
kurmo ’nganiva sarvasah
tasya prajna pratisthita

"One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws its limbs within the shell, is firmly fixed in perfect”

Just as Sri Krishna churned the Milky Ocean using the Manthara Mountain and got the Amrutha [nectar] and distributed it, Nammalwar also churned the ocean of Vedas using his tongue and got the 1102 hymns of Thiruvaimozhi and gave the same to us. Nalayira Divya Prabhandam consists of poems composed by various Alwars and Nammalwar is the head of these Alwars. We are in the Rapatthu mandapam [ten nights hall] and it is here during Adyanotsavam, the Lord listens to Thiruvaimozhi when Alwar joins the feet of the Lord. Let us see the relationship between this Mandapam and Nalayira Divya Prabhandam. Among the Alwars the first Alwar [chronologically] is Poigai Alwar and the last one is Thirumangai Alwar. They appeared in this world in a sequence and composed Arulicheyal [songs in praise of the Lord]. Then all of them returned to Vaikuntam. These poems were all composed thousands of years back and over the time they all got faded from memory and were lost. Later, in the 9th century in Kattu Mannar Koil, near Chidambaram, with the blessings of Sri Veera Narayana Perumal, Acharya Nathamuni was born. His original name was Ranganatha and he was a great devotee of Sriman Narayana. One day some Sri Vaishnavas came to his place. They sang eleven songs and were heard by Nathamuni. They were part of Thiruvaimozhi of Nammalwar. In Thirukudanthai [Kumbakonam] the Lord is Sri Aravamudan and He is appearing in a reclining position. The songs sang by the guests were all in praise of this Deity of Thirukkudanthai. The first poem starts with the words Aravamude ninpal….Nathamuni was very much attracted by the contents of these songs. In the eleventh concluding song of that decade [ten songs] it was mentioned that these songs were composed by Kurugur Satagopan and were part of the Thousand songs made by him. After hearing these words, Natahmuni enquired them that they sang only ten out of the thousand songs and what about the remaining 990 songs? They replied that they were aware of those eleven songs only and nothing more. Nathamuni decided to probe into this and so he went to Kurugur [Alwar Thirunagari]. There also none was aware of Thiruvaimozhi. There was a descendant of Madurakavi Alwar by name Parankusa Nambi. Though he also was not aware of Thiruvaimozhi songs, he gave a clue. Madurakavi Alwar, the disciple of Nammalwar had composed eleven songs in praise of Nammalwar and they were titled Kanninun Chirutthambu. They knew those eleven songs and they suggested that by chanting these songs under the Tamarind tree in the temple and by meditating on Nammalwar, Nathamuni could get an answer to his pursuit. Immediately Nathamuni after bathing in the river Tamrabarani, chanted 12000 times Kanninun Chiruthambu under the Tamarind tree. Alwar appeared before Nathamuni and as per his request taught him not only Thiruvaimozhi but also the entire Nalayira Divya Prabhandam. This why Nammalwar is praised as the leader among Alwars. Nathamuni after acquiring this great treasure taught his two nephews and made them to sing metrically. The Nalayira Divya Prabhandam poems are categorized as Iyarpa [prose order] and Isaipa [musical order]. In all temples along with, why even on a higher pedestal, all these hymns are sung even now. This place is called Azhwar Thirunagari and the Lord is Sri AdhiNathan Perumal and the Utsavar is Sri Polindu Ninra Piran. Sri Polindu Ninrapiran and Nammalwar will be present simultaneously in his mandapam during Adhyana uthsavam in the Tamil month Margazhi [Dec-Jan]. On the last day of this event, tenth day festival will be there when the Arayars [temple traditional singers] will sing and dance the last ten songs of Thiruvaimozhi [Muniye nanmugane mukkannappa..]. At that time Alwar icon’s head will be touching the Lord’s feet. This signifies the Moksham of Alwar. Thus Nammalwar lived ever meditating on Him with full detachment in this world. He had thus mastered Karma yogam, Gyana yogam and Bhakthi yogam. We will now climb the next step. Yesterday we saw the first step – yatamana samgya. Today we will see Vyatireka samgya. This is to divert our sensual organs from such objects. The first step was to avoid or prevent our organs in touch with sensual objects. In this step we will divert our organs from inferior objects to superior ones. This is explained in the 57th sloka:

yah sarvatranabhisnehas
tat tat prapya subhasubham
nabhinandati na dvesti
tasya prajna pratisthita

"In the material world, one who is unaffected by whatever good or evil he may obtain, neither praising it nor despising it, is firmly fixed in perfect knowledge."

These words tasya pranja pratishthita will be repeated in many places. Pranjya is knowledge and pratishthita is established. This Gyana yogi’s knowledge is established. He is also a Gyana yogi. Sneha meas desire. Abhisneha is excessive desire and anabhisneha is without excess desire. Such a person who is void of excess desire on all desirable objects, is neither happy for desirable objects nor unhappy on undesirable objects, he comes across. He does not get dejected nor curse for having got undesirable things. Similarly he is not happy if he gets desirable things. How is this possible? If there is a desirable thing in this world one should feel happy if one got it. After all we are made of senses and not inanimate or inert beings. If a child gets 98% his father should feel elated is natural. Similarly if the student scores 35% only, dejection is inevitable. Then why Sri Krishna is telling that both these expressions are to be avoided? In this world joy and sorrow are mixed. None can expect to have always victory. But we speak that in sports and games victory and defeat are common. On similar lines Sri Krishna tells us to know that joy and sorrow are common in life and we should be able to meet those equitably. One need not jump and hit the ceiling when happiness is there and at the same time need not get dejected and curse when sorrow things are encountered. Whereas a mature person has a different object as desirable and he is not worried about the common desirable things in life. For him God is desirable; soul is desirable. Alwar imagines himself as a child and in front of him there are toys, ball and a parrot to play with. But he is devoted to Him. He names each of the playthings as Madhave, Kesava and Sridhara. Alwar is not interested in these toys are playful objects. At the same time like any ordinary child will get pleasure in play, Alwar gets in calling all these articles by their names he had christened, like Madhava, Kesava and Sridhara. While the sports articles may break or deform, but the names with which Alwar calls them will remain everlasting and so will give always happiness. Therefore, by diverting our thoughts on Him and get happiness in those thoughts, the worldly desirable and undesirable objects can never have any impact on us. Thus we divert our organs on God. These two steps thus train us to control our organs, which is an important step to control mind. This will be explained later.

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