Friday, June 22, 2007


It is said that the Alwar appeared in this world to present Vedas in Tamil. That is why he is called Vedam Thamizh seida Maran. He is called Azhwar because he was immersed [Tamil azhndu] in devotion to God. Sri Namperumal affectionately called him Nam [Our] Alwar. His poems are all soaked [in devotion] unlike the Sanskrit words in Vedas, which are dry. Vedas describe the greatness of God and it gives us the feeling that God is too great for us to reach. But in Alwar’s works, God is described as great; at the same time He is simple and kind available for the devotees with pure mind. God is great and simple at the same time. In the ten avatars or incarnations the Boar or Varaha avatar is considered to be easily approachable. We are in between the sannidhis of Sri Varaha Murthy, also known as Sri Gyanapiran and Garuda. In his Thiruvirutham, Nammalwar praises Sri Varaha Perumal as Gyanapiran. He says all good things in life can be at the feet of Sri Gyanapiran. We have seen all the four stages of Gyana yogi: Yatamana samgya, Vyatireka samgya, Yekendriya samgya and Vaseekara samgya. In the 59th sloka He tells how we can get rid of all desires and attachments.

visaya vinivartante
niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso ’py asya
param drishtva nivartate

"The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, starving such engagements and by experiencing atman, he is fixed in consciousness."

If one wants to get rid of even the small traces of desires, Sri Krishna tells a method. Slokas 59,60 and 61 make one part. If we are able to visualize atman then all organs get disciplined, Sri Krishna says in 59th sloka. By comprehending atman in its true form, all other organs are controlled. It is interesting to note what He says in the next 60th sloka. Arjuna asks what he should do to ‘see’ atman. Sri Krishna replies that if Arjuna could control all organs, atman can be visualized. This normally will puzzle and confuse. One depending on other can never give a solution. But Sri Krishna removes the confusion in the 61st sloka. So we will have to see all these three slokas as one. Dehi is atman. Niraharam means without food or starving. What is food for atman? When atman is in a body, enjoyment by various organs is all food for atman. Taste is food for tongue but pleases atman. Music is food for ears but pleases atman. So if we have to starve atman, it means we have to prevent various organs in their desires. Rasam here means trace of desire. We can prevent various organs their food like listening for ears, scent for nose, etc. But the small trace of such desire lingers on. How to get rid of this trace? By concentrating on the eternal and quintessence of happiness –atman, and a glimpse of it will drive away this small trace also. After getting atman darshan, the small trace of desires lingering in the mind also is got rid off. When atman is in a body, if all desirable objects like tasty food, good music, etc, are removed it starves the organs and we do not indulge in such pleasures. But in the mind traces of these desires will be sticking. Many people have developed a custom of not eating or drinking certain type of food or drinks, but when such persons are in a company of friends who eat or drink such articles, there could be compulsions or curiosity to taste. By yielding to such temptation we may spoil our health. So it is better to avoid such events altogether and resist temptations. But even then mind will not get controlled. This can be suppressed only if we are able to have atman darshanam.

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