Thursday, June 21, 2007


Nammalwar is called Satakopan and he wears a garland made of Vakula flowers. This place is Thirukkurugur or Alwar Thirunagari. It is also known as Dhantha Kshetram. There was a person living in Salagramam in North. He was not bright in learning and so people used to tease him as mandhan, meaning dim knowledge. In his next birth he was born as Dhanthan. A sage advised him to go to this place and worship Sri Adinatha Perumal and he would be blessed with vast knowledge. He lived in a place Appan koil on the North of this place. Again the same sage met him and advised him to stay in Thirukkurugur and worship Sri Adipiran. He came here; but he was teased here also. Those people suffered a lot and later they all realized the greatness on Dhanthan and this place also got a name Dhantha Kshetram. Alwar had a name Satakopan. Every child when in the womb of its mother possesses total knowledge or gyana. But as the delivery takes place, a gas satam surrounds the child and conceals the knowledge. This is mentioned by Sukhacharya in Srimad Bhagavatham and by Parasara in Sri Vishnu Puranam. But when Nammalwar was born, he was able to throw out that satam gas with kopam or anger and so he was called Satakopan and he possessed the full knowledge. Therefore by worshipping Nammalwar and reciting his poems, we can also get knowledge about Paramatman. We will now see the fourth and most important state of Gyana yogi – vaseekara samgya. The first step Yatamana samgya in 58th sloka was our efforts to withdraw from objects creating inferior desires. The second step Vyatireka samgya in 57th sloka explained diversion of our organs from those objects and remain detached. The third step was Yekendriya samgya in 56th sloka where we were told to train our mind also detached from pleasures and sorrow. Now we will see the fourth step of Vaseekara samgya in the 55th sloka. Here we will be told that we have to get rid of all traces of all attachments and hatred, and ensure a sparkling pure mind.

prajahati yada kaman
sarvan partha mano-gatan
atmany evatmana tustah
sthita-prajnas tadocyate

" O Partha, when a man gives up all varieties of desire for sense gratification, which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind, thus purified, finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness."

He is praised as sthitaprajna then. When? When all desires in mind are expelled and atman is made the objective of the mind and remains happy. That is when mind is no longer becomes happy or otherwise with ordinary pleasures and sorrow but becomes happy with atman only. This is a very difficult stage to attain. Normally the mind is happy with pleasures enjoyed through the organs. We listen to a good music or we see a beautiful figure and become happy. But atman is formless and does not make sound nor can be tasted nor smelt. Then how can one get happiness? We all know that all images or sounds or tastes or scent will fade away one day. But atman is eternal. It is a quintessence of gyana and ananda or happiness. So this has to be inculcated in our mind. Normally we take vegetables for nourishment; but when we are sick, same nourishment is given to the body by drips. So it is possible to experience all our happiness felt in life, by engaging the mind on atman. This happiness will be everlasting unlike the worldly pleasures. This can be understood from the story of Prahlada. He was tortured in many ways: by making serpents to bite, by making elephants to tramp over him, by throwing him tied to a stone in mid ocean, by surrounding him with fire, etc. All these were never even felt by Prahada. Because he had engaged his mind fully in Sri Krishna. By this he was detached from the worldly miseries and pleasures. This is Vaseekara samgya. All including the mind is under control. There will be no trace of any worldly miseries and pleasures. To achieve this level the gyana yogi had to understand atman is superior, practice Karma yoga and remove all blemish in the mind and start Gyana yoga and reach the ultimate stage in Gyana yoga. We can see Alwar also as an example. In the mannai irundu thuzhavi Thiruvaimozhi ten pasurams, he shows that happiness and sorrow are mixed in this world. We have to withdraw our mind from all these and understand atman, then understand the inner atman of our atman as Paramatman. Our mind should be trained to concentrate only on Him. He squeezes the mud below and says this mud belongs to Sri Vamana [an incarnation of Sri Narayana]. Though there was considerable time span between the Sri Vamana incarnation and Alwar’s time, he sees God in all. While ordinary person will think of how to purchase the land where this mud was scooped out or what plant could be cultivated to earn money, Alwar thinks entirely different. When he sees burning fire he runs to embrace it as he sees the glowing figure of God. Because of this mentality the fire does not burn him. So we have to inculcate this habit in our mind. We see in karate and kungfu sports, persons are trained to break bricks with hands without being hurt or dipping the hands in fire without getting burnt. This is by practicing mind and organs to concentrate. Such practice can make us do anything. When mind is trained to see atman, he is admired as sthitaprajna. His intellect is set up firmly when nothing can disturb his mind. He can remain isolated without being affected by worldly affairs. This does not mean he will remain in solitude and be of no use to the society. He can do all the good works for the society without being influenced by others. By training mind to engage in atman we can perform all our duties efficiently. This will be perfected if the mind is further trained to engage in God, Who is the atman of all atman.

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