Today [31stJuly2007] we are at the sannidhi of Sri Veera Anjaneya, at the Rangavilas mantapam. In this sannidhi an idol of Thiruppanalwar also is there. Sri Anjaneya is the moola murthy and the Alwar is the utsava moorthy. How is it that Anjaneya who lived in Sri Rama’s time thousands of years back and Thiruppanalwar who lived in Kali yug some centuries earlier, are in the same sannidhi? When Sri Rama after a reign of 11,000 years departed for His abode Vaikuntam, all animate and inanimate objects of Ayodya accompanied him. When He asked Anjaneya, he refused to come to Vaikuntam as he would not be able to see God in the form of Sri Rama. He did not want to see even Sri Narayana with the same eyes he saw Sri Rama, as the King of Ayodya. He therefore remains in this world enjoying Sri Rama’s images in various places and listening to Ramayana wherever studied. On the other hand Thiruppanalwar says he cannot see any other with the same eyes that saw Sri Ranganatha. W e can note the similarity of the two. One does not want to see except Sri Ranganatha and the other does not want to see except Sri Rama, Who worshiped Sri Ranganatha in Ayodya. We will now see the next sloka:
bhunjate te tv agham papa
ye pacanty atma-karanat
"The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin."
Whether we should eat food or eat sin? This question is raised in this sloka. We will be shocked a bit to see what Sri Krishna vehemently says. Yagna= deva pooja, sishtam= leftovers [of prasadam offered to gods]. Perialwar says that the devotees will wear the garments discarded by Him, would decorate themselves with the flowers removed by Him and would eat the leftovers of the food offered to Him. So yagna sishtam is very sacred. Here two interpretations are possible. One, the food offered to Him in yagna and eating those. Other, the wealth that remains after performing yagna is used for maintaining one’s family. Such persons are santa= great souls. Muchyante= they get liberated. They are relieved of all the sins, which were hindering atman sakshatkaram. In the second part Sri Krishna tells what if one does not offer to God and consumes the food all oneself? Tetu = those people, aham bunjate papa= eat the sins only, ye= those persons, pacanti= cook or eat, atma karanat=for themselves only [without offering to gods or distributing to the needy]. That means we should eat what was offered to God, dress with the garments offered to Him. If we want progress in our life, if we want our children to prosper and if we want to avoid rajo/tamo qualities, then we have to follow the instructions in this sloka. We have to cook after cleaning our body by bathing. We should cook only those that are permitted in the shastras. We should eat only after offering the cooked food to God. If we do not follow this, the food we eat is amedyam or fit for garbage only. One, who eats not the leftovers of a deva pooja or eats without offering to God, consumes sins only. All these came up because Arjuna thought that action or karma meant laboring for food and so possibility of incurring sins. So he thought it would be better to avoid karma altogether and do Gyana yoga. In reply Sri Krishna says that one can eat and for that can earn by working. But all He wants is that such earnings and food cooked should be offered at least by mere gestures to avoid sins. Yagna sishtam will develop good character and this can be verified.