Nammalwar has sung hymns on this Kshetram. Principal Deity is Sri Adipiran or Sri Adinathan. Uthsava Murthy is Sri Polindu Ninra Piran. We are today in front of Nachiyar sannidhi. There are two main consorts Sri Adinayaki or Sri AdiNachiyar and Sri Kurugai Nachiyar. When we worship the Lord, we can at the same time get the blessings of Sri Polindu Ninra Piran, Sri Sridevi, Sri Bhoodevi, Sri Neeladevi, Sri Adi Nachiyar and Sri Kurugai Nachiyar. This place got the name Thirukkurugai and it is an interesting story. Sri Narayana told Brahma to do penance on the banks of river Kurunai [Thambrabarani] and pointed to this place. The Lord appeared before him after many years of meditation and told him ‘ mama archanam kuru’ [‘do pooja on Me’]. So this place got the name from the word kuru and was called Thiru Kurugai. Also a chieftain Kurugan was administering this place and so this got this name. After Alwar’s birth, this place got the present name Alwar Thirunagari. Alwar says when Sri Adipiran is there why divert your attention on others? He advises us to cling to Sri Adipiran’s feet with steadfastness. In the Nalayira Divya Prabhandam, mostly hymns are composed in praise of the Main Deity or Moolavar. But there are exceptions and in this Kshetram, the Alwar has explicitly praised both the Moolavar and Uthsavar [4.10]. In Srimad Bhagavatham epic, Sukhacharya has indicated the appearance of great Sri Vishnu Bhakthas on the banks of rivers Thambrbarani, Kaveri and Palar at the beginning of Kali yug. In such a great Kshetram we will see the next samgya. We are seeing the various stages of Gyana yogi. The first step was the efforts. That Yatamana samgya was described like a tortoise withdrawing its feet and head into the shell from enemy attack, here the person withdraws the organs from contact with inferior desires. Next was Vyatireka samgya. Here the person assumes an impartial role of not joyful when desirable things occur nor brooding when sad things occur and observe detached mindset. Why does Sri Krishna ask Arjuna to be neutral and neither feel happy nor sorrow? It is seen practically that by having a neutral mind the work is done more efficiently. By being emotionally attached to a work, it gets ruined. A surgeon takes an impartial view of the patient. In such situations emotion could spoil the work. We now go to 56th sloka:
sthita-dhir munir ucyate
"One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when there is happiness, and who is free from expectation, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind."
Dhi is buddhi or intellect. Sthita dhi is well established knowledge. Person with such knowledge is praised by Sri Krishna as muni [munir ucyate]. Person capable of controlling mind and directing it at the atman is called muni. Just by sitting in forest in a particular posture does not make one a muni. Controlling and directing mind as one wants is muni. All other organs can even be controlled but it is too difficult to control mind. That is why this is called Yekendriya samgya. Yekendriya means the single organ i.e. mind as the leader of all organs. How to control mind? Sri Krishna tells the way. We should be having unperturbed mind at the cause of sorrow. Similarly we should have unexcited mind at the cause of joy. In addition we should have avoided raga, bhaya and krodha. Swami Ramanuja in his Gita Bhashyam has explained these very well. Raga is the expectation feeling one has about a joyous thing to happen in the future. If a father is elated at the prospect of his son going to score very high marks in the results that are going to be published next day, it is raga. That is our interest in a joy that is going to happen. Sri Krishna says that one should abandon this raga that is the feeling of an expectation. Not merely happiness or the cause for such happiness but even the anticipation or prospect of that event have to be avoided. Next, bhaya -fear. It is the feeling one gets when there is a prospect of a happy thing not happening or an unhappy thing is happening. When we feel happy of a joyous event in future we get raga. But if that event is not likely to happen? Then the mind gets perturbed and that is bhaya. Bhaya is not the undesirable thing coming to us or the desirable one leaving us. Today what we feel about the prospect of an unwelcome guest tomorrow is bhaya. This bhaya will transform into sorrow when actually the unwanted guest knocks at our door and we see him. So bhaya becomes the cause for sorrow and Sri Krishna advises that bhaya also should be avoided. In the next day results whether his son is going to score low marks, is fear today for the father. When the results confirm that low marks the bhaya becomes sorrow. But on the contrary if the results reveal very high marks, bhaya is converted to happiness. Krodha is anger. If one has raga and is expecting a happy event in future, and if some persons or things obstruct that event from happening then the feeling of krodha or anger is on those obstructing. So, raga transforms to happiness. Feeling of anger on the persons obstructing one from attaining that happiness, is krodha. So Arjuna is advised to abandon these three raga, bhaya and krodha and a person who achieves this is muni. To achieve this, mind has to be controlled. What if raga or bhaya is there? Let us see the example of student. When were his marks decided? Was it when he wrote the exam? Or, when the evaluator saw his answer papers? Or, when the results were published? But actually his result was decided when he put in his efforts preparing for the exams. His efforts only will reflect in the exam. What he writes only will be evaluated. And, what the evaluation is there will be published. But our expectation is on the publishing only. So a person who understands this and avoids these three qualities is praised as muni.