Tuesday, July 31, 2007


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:

yajna-sistasinah santo
mucyante sarva-kilbisaih
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.


Today [30thJuly, 2007] we are in the sannidhi of Koorathalwar and Parasara Bhattar, in Srirangam temple. Koorathalwar was one of the important disciples of Ramanuja and hailed from a place called Kooram near Arakkonam and Kanchi. He forsake his large wealth and lived a simple life. Parasara Bhattar was the son of Koorathalwar. He was regarded as the pet son of Sri Namperumal and Sri Ranganayaki Thayar. When he was an infant he used to sleep in a cradle near Sri Ranganatha. He was the acharya of Nanjeer. Both the father and son are idolized in this sannidhi. This sannidhi was formed during Swami Ramanuja’s time as Koorathalwar expired earlier than Swami Ramanuja. We will see 12th sloka:

istan bhogan hi vo deva
dasyante yajna-bhavitah
tair dattan apradayaibhyo
yo bhunkte stena eva sah

" the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajna [sacrifice], will supply all necessities to you. But he who enjoys such gifts without offering them to the demigods in return is certainly a thief."

Sah=he, stena eva= is a thief only, va= for us, deva= all gods, istan bhogan= all we desire, dasyante= will grant, yajna bhavitah= worshiped well in the yagna or deva pooja. When the gods are worshiped in deva pooja, they grant all that we desire and also a part of it is returned to the gods by the devotees. If the devotees do not return a portion and use all for themselves, it amounts to stealing. Tair dattan= such wealth granted by the gods, aibhya = all these, apradaya = not returning to the gods, yo bhunkte= he who enjoys, sah= he, stena eva = is only a thief. So, we perform yagna and the gods pleased with that grant all we desire in the form of rain, food grains, wealth and prosperity. With the wealth so obtained it is expected that we do more yagna and please the gods and they in return shower more wealth and this cycle goes on and on. Instead, when the gods grant us wealth and we enjoy them fully without caring to return a portion to perform more yagna, we use others’ property for our enjoyment. This is nothing but stealing. But we may think that how the gods can claim anything. Rivers flow, the farmers plough and cultivate and harvest food grains. We with our efforts cook and eat and enjoy. So, where is the role of gods here, we may ask? How this could be termed stealing? In this world different types of transactions are seen. As an example, we give our clothes to the washer man for washing. The washer man can never use our clothes and so after washing he returns all the clothes. There is no mutual help here and what the gods grant to us does not come under this category. In the case of donation, the donor gives and the recipient is not expected to return all or a portion of what he received. In fact donation should be discreet and is not meant for publicity. In the first case the washer man is not expected to retain anything and returns all he received. While, in a donation, the recipient takes away all received. In the case Sri Krishna tells, it is neither of the examples. We please the gods and they shower prosperity. We cannot use all, as that would be stealing. We cannot return all also as we have to live and maintain our lives here. This is similar to the taxes levied by governments. We use the facilities like roads, lighting, etc. and increase our wealth and in return we pay a portion as tax for the government to survive and to provide more and better facilities. God provides a body to this atman and with that body we perform yagna and other deva pooja to please God. We cannot say we put in our efforts. We do not make the rain and river. God only provided the cultivable land. Why? The body we possess is God given. All the ‘infra structure’ have been provided by someone other than us. This is what Sri Krishna told earlier that at the time of creation He had provided the people and yagna to do deva pooja so that while enjoying the benefits, some portion is returned to gods. By mentioning deva pooja it is meant pleasing the helpless and needy devotees. We will be regarded as thieves if we do not distribute the wealth we acquired with the gods’ help to other needy persons in the form of deva pooja, but enjoy entirely to ourselves. In this world nothing could be claimed to be a single person’s as the efforts of so many are involved even in a person’s wealth. This can be realized if we think for ten minutes on the wealth with us. So by distributing our wealth to the gods for their help and enjoying the remaining wealth, these karma will not affect us to push us back in samsaram. This answers Arjuna’s query and karma did without selfish needs, will free us from samsaram.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Sri Krishna explained that whether one wants to pursue gyana yoga or not, one has to practice Karma yoga. Directly one cannot practice Gyana yoga. Arjuna was doubtful that Karma yoga involves action and this would lead to likes and dislikes and so will immerse one, more in samsaram and might not be able to free oneself from the samsaram. Sri Krishna allayed this fear that deva pooja like yagna would redeem one from samsaram and can get all that one desires. Any karma without attachment will uplift us to higher planes. We should not do anything with selfish reasons. In the 10th sloka He said that He created at the time of creation of people, yagna and other deva pooja with mutual help. Arjuna gets a fresh doubt as to how these inanimate objects used in deva pooja or yagna could get him what he desired. This applies to all rituals. Sri Krishna tells that it is not necessary that those materials should have intellect to get Arjuna benefits. These karma are stipulated by Sri Krishna at the time of creation and that would guarantee the rewards. This is like a three-hour exam is stipulated for testing a student’s capacity and based on that performance, he is given admission in further studies. We cannot ask the efficacy of this to test the capacity of the student as that would be futile and these are the stipulations of that authority which grants admission for higher studies. Deva pooja are like exams. This action is a must to reach higher levels. God inside us knows our sincerity and would ensure rewards accordingly. Next, Arjuna is doubtful of the connection between the action deva pooja and the reward received. Sri Krishna replies that the action by itself does not yield results. But the action pleases Him and He orders the rewards. Arjuna further asks whether the action or karma fetches Moksham or the gyana fetches? Because so far he has understood that gyana alone will get Moksham. Sri Krishna replies that while doing these karma in deva pooja, selfless attitude is the gyana and becomes the qualification for obtaining Moksham. Lastly, Arjuna queries that in the last sloka He said that deva pooja gets the doer all that are desired. While Moksham may be correct, materialistic desires also if granted would they not act against Moksham? Sri Krishna refutes this and says that there is nothing wrong to desire for materialistic pleasures as long as one has to live in this world. Moksham is only after the life here is over and so they do not oppose each other.

devan bhavayatanena
te deva bhavayantu vah
parasparam bhavayantah
sreyah param avapsyatha

"The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you, and thus, by cooperation between men and demigods, prosperity will reign for all."

Anena = by deva pooja, devan = the gods, bhavayata=worship, te deva= such worshipped gods, bhavayanu vah= would grant all prosperity and make happy, parasparam bhavayantah= such mutual help, param sreyah= very high status and avapsyatha= would attain. Theses are also the words of Prajapati [Sri Narayana] continued from previous sloka.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Today [26th July, 2007] we will see 10th sloka in the third Chapter. In the next seven slokas Sri Krishna explains why we and the Devas [gods] are created and what are our mutual duties? This agreement of mutual help is in a cyclic form. We will see these from the Anbil Kshetram. Anbil does not mean no love or no bhakthi, but it is the house or abode of love or bhakti. Para Vasudeva in Vaikuntam splits Himself in three forms- Pradyumna, Anirudha and Sankarshana and maintains this world. As Anirudha with the duty of protection, He is blessing the devotees in this Kshetram. He showers blessings on us and in return we have to at least show some devotion. This is in the form of an agreement. This is explained in the 10th sloka:

saha-yajnah prajah srstva
purovaca prajapatih
anena prasavisyadhvam
esa vo ’stv ista-kama-dhuk

"In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Vishnu, and blessed them by saying, “Be thou happy by this yajna [sacrifice] because its performance will bestow upon you everything desirable for living happily and achieving liberation.”"

Prajapati= Sriman Narayana, pura = long ago during creation, praja= all people, yajna saha= along with yagna, stva =created, uvaca= told like this. Long ago during creation, Sri Narayana while creating yagna along with people told like this. Anena= by this yagna, prasavisyadhyam= all get prosperity, esa =all these, va= to you, ista kama dhuk= beget all desired. Deva pooja pleases God and He bestows all that we desire to possess. Dhuk comes from the root for dhugd or milk. Just as a cow yields the owner nutritious milk, God confers all desired things to the worshiper. The agreement here is we have to perform yagna or deva pooja and the deva pooja, which are also created by Him, in turn get all our desires fulfilled from God. This He has told long ago. Our present Kali yug has 432,000 years. Total period of all the four yugs – Kritha, Tretha, Dwapara and Kali- is 4,320,000 years. This is one Chatur yug and 1000 such Chatur yug constitute one day time for Bramha. Another such equal period is night for him. That is one day is 2000 chatur yug for Brahma. His tenure is 100 years each of such 365 days. When this tenure ends there is a deluge called prakrutha pralayam. During this pralayam all are destroyed and they remain in that destroyed state for an equal time and then the God again creates. At that time He creates the yajna to bestow various benefits desired by us. Since Arjuna felt that actions beget likes and dislikes and so papa/punya, he was afraid to do Karma yoga. Here the Lord allays this fear and says that by doing Deva pooja as told by Him during creation, one will never incur papa/ punya and so one will be redeemed from samsaram.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


[I was away to Madras and so there is a delay. My thanks are to my mother-in-law for the recordings on 25th, 26th and 27th].

On 27th July, the lecture was from Thiruanbil. We are to see 9th sloka. Sri Anbil Perumal travels all the 20 miles and reaches the Vadathirukkaveri [Kollidam river] on Masi month Magam and blesses the devotees. Sri Krishna explained why we have to perform rituals as mentioned in Vedas. Because of lack of time we tend to ask the need for these rituals. Secondly, in the Kali yug, importance for old values and rituals are questioned and modern concepts replace. Feeding poor and meditation are enough, we think and question the need for rituals to please our deceased ancestors. Earlier Arjuna raised a doubt that when Karma yoga is done, we get into likes and dislikes. This may involve us further in the worldly matters or samsaram. Sri Krishna tells that in Karma yoga, He has specified the works and their rewards.

yajnarthat karmano ’nyatra
loko ’yam karma-bandhanah
tad-artham karma kaunteya
mukta-sangah samacara

"Work done as a sacrifice for Vishnu has to be performed, otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage."

Yagnarthath= for the sake of yagna, karmano anyatra= works done other than for yagna, lokoyam karma bandhana= would bind the people in this samsaram, [that means all karma done as deva pooja or for yagna will not incur papa. All other actions will get us papa and immerse us in samsaram]. Sanga = attachments, mukta= free, tad artham= for the sake of deva pooja, karma= do, kaunteya= Son of Kunthi. So we derive the meaning of this sloka as we do deva pooja and that too without attachment. This will lead us to Moksham. But deva pooja with attachments or non-deva pooja actions will involve us more and more in samsaram. Here yagna does not mean we have to perform those pooja in front of sacred fire. Those will be done by a few qualified. But all of us can worship the Lord at Anbil. It will look difficult to do these without attachments. But gradually we can develop detachment and succeed. Just as we serve our parents or guests we can surely perform deva pooja without expecting any reward or without the pride that we are doing. Sri Krishna therefore tells that any social service as service to God with no attachments will raise the doer to higher level.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Today we will see Gita from Anbil Kshetram, about 20 miles from Srirangam. This is one of the 40 Chola Kshetrams. Thirumzhisai Alwar has mentioned this Kshetram in one hymn. This is famous for relieving Sri Shiva and Sri Brahma from a curse and similarly sage Mandooka was freed from his curse. The Lord here is Sri Sundararaja Perumal, in a reclining pose with His Consorts ay the feet. Utsavar is called Sri Vadivazhagiya Nambi. Thayar is called Sri Vadivazhagiya Nachiyar and Sri Sundaravalli Thayar. A unique feature is Sri Andal graces the devotees in a sitting posture. Sri Brahma and Sri Shiva meditated here to get their sins relieved. Similarly, Bruhu Rishi once cursed Mandooka Rishi, and he came here to get relief from that curse. Only one poem is there on this Lord by Thirumazhisai Alwar. Just as in Kudanthai [Kumbakonam], Vekha [near Kanchipuram], Evvul [Trivellore], Srirangam, Thiruppernagar [as Appakudathan] and in the Milky Ocean, the Lord blesses the devotees in this Kshetram also in a reclining pose. So admires the Alwar. He is waiting to bless the devotees who seek asylum at His feet. Worshiping the lord is called Deva Pooja, which is Yajna. Yajna, yagam and homam all denote the same that is Deva pooja. As per Sanskrit grammar yaja deva poojayam is the root. So Deva pooja is yaja or yajna. Ordinary persons cannot perform elaborate yajna, but certainly they could do Deva pooja. For this the Lord must be attractive, He must be in our mind and we should have devotion. The Lord here is so beautiful that it becomes a pleasure for us to worship Him. From the 9th to 16th , eight slokas, describe the necessity for Deva pooja. The 9th sloka alone is introduction. Deva pooja is essential to keep this world moving. The second Chapter dealt with the need to practice Karma yoga and reach Gyana yoga and get atman sakshatkaram. In the third Chapter, however, it was told how Karma yoga itself could get atman sakshatkaram. First Chapter was called Arjuna vishada yogam. Second Chapter was named Sankya yogam as it praised Gyana yoga, which could be practiced with sankya or buddhi or intellect. This Chapter is called Karma yogam as it deals with Karma yoga. Sri Krishna told five reasons why Arjuna should practice Karma yoga rather than Gyana yoga:

1. We are all used to Karma yoga right from our birth and in our all previous births and so action of our organs and senses is our habit. Gyana yoga on the other hand is to be specially learnt and practiced. So habitual Karma yoga is easier.

  1. In Gyana yoga it is expected to control all our senses and organs. Such anticipation is not there in Karma yoga. The limbs are all allowed to do what they can in the service of God and slowly detachment is developed. Therefore, this becomes easier for us to practice Karma yoga.
  2. In Karma yoga the possibility of slippage from practice is very little. In Gyana yoga slippages are very high. Because, in Karma yoga the organs do their assigned activities, we practice Karma yoga and so the chances of continuation is high. But we saw earlier that a person directly trying to practice Gyana yoga by external control, fails as the mind wanders after the senses and so the objective slips.
  3. In Karma yoga we use our intellect or gyana. When we perform pooja we know that such activity would get us Moksham. We believe that doing good to others would please Him. Atman is eternal and is different from body. All these basic knowledge are there in a Karma yogi. Vice versa is not true. In Gyana yoga there are no actions or karma.

5. Even for a person practicing Gyana yoga maintainance of his health and body need and so Karma yoga becomes inevitable. But a karma yogi need not do Gyana yoga.

So Karma yoga does not stipulate difficult conditions and becomes easier to follow. It does not greatly disrupt our routines. Arjuna gets a doubt here. When one indulges in activities while practicing Karma yoga, possibility of likes and dislikes are high and this would lead to earning papa/ punya. Arjuna feels this would submerge him further in samsaram instead of redeeming from that. Sri Krishna tries to clear this in the 9th sloka onwards, which we will see in due course.


[There was a power breakdown and so some portion in the initial lecture was not available. I am reproducing whatever I listened to]

In the river Thamrabarani at the bathing ghat Sankhani Padithurai, on Vaikasi Visakam, Nammalwar icon is bathed in the center of the river and along with thousands of devotees. Why this bathing ghat got this name? Long ago there was a king Sanku, who mediated. A sage inquired as to why he was meditating and the King’s reply was that he wanted to become one of the Ashta Dik Palaka [the Eight gods guarding the eight directions of this world]. The sage told him that this way he could never achieve his objective and told that he should take the form of a conch [sanku in Tamil] and remain at the place where the river Thamrabarani mingled with the sea during nights and in the day he should come along the river and go around the Sri Adinatha and Sri Polinduninra Piran temple in Alwar Thirunagari. Doing this 1000 times will get him his objective. Sanku did likewise along with many conches. Thus the place got the name Thiru Sankani Padithurai. Nammalwar fame was so great that he was the subject of a discussion among the great Tamil poets Thiruvalluvar, Idaikadar and Avvaiyar. Thiruvaimozhi brought fame to Tamil discovered by Rishi Agastya and to Thirukkural. Nammalwar preached Karma yoga to serve God and His devotees. We will see the 8th sloka of Chapter Three:

niyatam kuru karma tvam
karma jyayo hy akarmanah
sarira-yatrapi ca te
na prasiddhyed akarmanah

"Perform your prescribed duty, as it is better than Gyana yoga. One in Gyana yoga cannot even maintain one’s physical body without work."

Sri Krishna lists yet another reason to practice Karma yoga. Niyatam karma kuru= do duties specified to, tvam= you. Akarmanah= different from Karma i.e. Gyana yoga. Karma jyayo= Karma yoga is better. For those who are incapable of practicing Gyana yoga, Karma yoga is a better recourse. Who are they? We, the ordinary persons. By doing our specified and habituated duties, we perform Karma yoga and that is better than doing Gyana yoga directly. He cites an important reason for this in the second part of the sloka. Akarmanah= by sitting in Gyana yoga, sarira yatrapi ca= even for maintaining the body, na prasiddhyed = is not possible. One can admire the calm atmosphere of the Kshetram and the river and decide to start Gyana yoga directly. But the body has to be maintained and so we have to arrange for timely food. For this one has to work and thereby indulge in righteous earning and work as per shastra and law. This is nothing but Karma yoga. So the substance is that even for a person wanting to practice Gyana yoga, Karma yoga becomes inevitable to maintain the body that is required to do Gyana yoga. We have to perform our shasras accepted duties and earn our livelihood. With the available resources we prepare food, offer it to God and after feeding the deprived and the poor we also consume to keep our body in running condition. This is what Sri Krishna has been telling in all these slokas. This is Karma yoga and continuous practice keeps our mind serene and rajo/ tamo qualities fade and our likes and dislikes are eliminated. This is the step for Gyana yoga. Therefore, direct Gyana yoga will not be possible even to maintain our health. Karma yoga is unavoidable for Gyana yoga but the converse is not true. Arjuna got a doubt here. What if one directly practices Gyana yoga and disregards his health? One may die and let that happen and he can then get atman sakshatkaram after death. Sri Krishna tells that atman sakshatkaram cannot be achieved by mere death. Death will only get the soul swarga [heaven] or naraka [hell] or another birth. To get moksham one should have completed the Gyana yoga. To do that one has to live and for that one has to maintain one’s body by work. In fact, without caring for the body and doing Gyana yoga will tantamount to attempting suicide, which is forbidden by shastras and by law. Arjuna has another doubt. Sri Krishna advises that at least to maintain the soul in the body one has to work. According to shastras, death is determined by one’s fate or vidhi. So, how can one end life by mere not doing anything to keep the body alive? Because keeping alive is not in our hands as this is already determined by fate. Swami Vedantha Desika clarifies this in his Tatparya Chandrika. There are two types of actions or karma: Niyatha karma and aniyatha karma. In niyatha karma, its course, result and effects are all pre-decided. In aniyatha karma such pre-decision is not there and one can make efforts to achieve certain results. For example, in the story of Parikshit, he was destined to die after seven days by a sage. This could not be changed. All are not niyatha karma. Otherwise we will have fatalistic attitudes and we will never go to a doctor for our ailments. There are many which need our efforts and with the blessings of God we can carry them out. We have to maintain our body and health. So Karma yoga is habitual, it cannot be avoided and it is bound to obtain results. Even a gyana yogi cannot avoid Karma yoga.

Friday, July 20, 2007


There was a great Acharya Thiruvaimozhipillai. His original name was Thirumalai Azhvan. He was born on the same Vaikasi Visakam as Nammalwar. He was the disciple of Swami Pillai Lokacharya and he was the Acharya of Swami Manavala Mamuni. This temple got ruined after Nammalwar and Swami Thiruvaimozhipillai reestablished the temple, renovated Alwar sannaidhi and established the four streets of present Ramanuja Chaturvedimangalam. We are at the sannidhi of this great Acharya. Because of his great involvement in Thiruvaimozhi of Nammalwar, he got his name as Thiruvaimozhipillai. Hereditary members are even now serving here. We will now see the 7th sloka. In the last sloka Sri Krishna told that though one may be trying to practice Gyana yoga without following Karma yoga, his mind would be after the organs. Such a person can never reach the state of Gyana yoga and is a pretender or in false discipline. The 7th sloka is:

yas tv indriyani manasa
niyamyarabhate ’rjuna
karmendriyaih karma-yogam
asaktah sa visisyate

"On the other hand, if a sincere person tries to start the karma yoga [Krishna consciousness] with the mind directing active senses, without attachment, he is by far superior."

That Karma yogi is praised. He is better than the Gyana yogi. Here Sri Krishna tells that the not so intellect person practicing Karma yoga is better than the person who has directly trying to practice Gyana yoga. Yahatu= the one, indriyani manasa niyamya= organs are directed by mind. We are habituated to do something or other actions. It is easier for anyone to do what one is habituated rather than trying an entirely new one. If we find ourselves weak in mathematics, then we try a subject that is familiar to us. All cannot be experts in all subjects. We try to develop what we are habitual or familiar. In schools also the students are trained in hobbies of their choice and the talent is brought out. So Sri Krishna encourages those who are habitual in doing karma. We have to involve our organs in some activity. Can we do what we are already doing? Here Swami Vedanta Desika in his Tatparya Chandrika gives a wonderful commentary. We have to involve our organs and senses in activities that serve God or in activities permited by Shastra or activities that are our duty. Our mind should direct in such activities and this is what Sri Krishna means in the sloka. Organs are habituated to do some actions. So our mind should direct them in noble work. By doing this way we get double benefit: one, the organs are involved in their routine actions and two, such actions would enable us to reach Moksham. Asaktha = detached [indifferent to rewards], karmendriyai= our organs meant for action, arabyate= whoever starts karma yoga. So the one who directs his senses in the actions permitted by Shasta and starts Karma yoga deploying the action organs, is the meaning of the first part. Such a person with detached feeling rises. He rises higher than this person who is suppressing the organs from their habitual activities but his mind wanders all over and pretends to practice Gyana yoga. Doctors might have advised jogging or walking for sound health. This becomes Karma yoga when we try to walk the distance to an institution helping physically challenged children like deaf or blind and help the institution to the extent possible. We get physical exercise and also social service. Similarly other activities also could be done and then we are said to have begun Karma yoga. This is possible for all of us. And we can get atman sakshatkaram.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Today is Vaikasi Visaka day [when the recording was done], Nammalwar’s birthday. We are at the Swami Ramanuja sannidhi situated between Alwar Thirunagari and Ramanuja Chaturvedimangalam. The idol of Swami Ramnuja here is called Bhavishyadacharya Vigraham. When Nammalwar was about to leave this world, his disciple Madurakavi Alwar requested for a memento and he was asked to distil the water of river Thamrabarani. When Madurakavi did accordingly, an idol was got but it was not of Nammalwar. He was told that this was the idol of a great Acharya who was going to appear in this world and redeem the devotees. Nammalwar lived in the beginning of Kali yug that is some 5000 years ago and Swami Ramanuja was born 1000 years ago. So Nammalwar was able to predict the appearance of Ramanuja and so this idol is called Bhavishyadacharya [Acharya of future]. Again when Madurakavi distilled water, this time he got an idol of Nammalwar. On this day every year Nammalwar, after bathing in the river, appears along with Swami Ramanuja [Bhavishyadacharya]. The idol of Ramanuja was got on Masi Visakam. So on both these days- Vaikasi Visakam and Masi Visakam- festivals of 10 days duration are held annually in Alwar Thirunagari. When Nammalwar taught Nalayira Divya Prabandham to Swami Nathamuni, this idol of Bhavishyadacharya was presented to Nathamuni. We will now see the 6th sloka:

karmendriyani samyamya
ya aste manasa smaran
indriyarthan vimudhatma
mithyacarah sa ucyate

"One who restrains the senses of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender."

This is also continuation of Sri Krishna’s reply that one cannot directly practice Gyana yoga. He emphasizes the need for Karma yoga before practicing Gyana yoga. We have already seen that Gyana yoga needs a serene and pure mind. Such a mind only can meditate on atman. For a pure mind, organs and senses are to be controlled. For disciplining the organs, likes and dislikes are to be eradicated. Rajo and tamo qualities should have been minimized. For this Karma yoga was necessary, which would please the Lord and our sins are cleared. A person decides to practice Gyana yoga that is to have atman darshan, without Karma yoga. Lack of practice of Karma yoga allowed the papa or sins to continue and so he could not avoid likes and dislikes. The rajo and tamo qualities were having their influence and so the organs and senses were not disciplined. In this state, he tries to practice Gyana yoga and directs the mind on atman. But the mind is uncontrollable and wanders on all matters. This is called false discipline or mithyacharam, where the intention is one and the actual happening is different. Mind and action if they are same it is correct discipline. Karmendriyani= the organs responsible for action, like eyes, nose, etc., samyamya= controlled, but vimudhatma = uncontrolled mind [because Karma yoga was never practiced], ya aste manasa smaran= the mind is after all materialistic desires, mithyacarah ucyate= he is called a person with false discipline. This happens when we misunderstand the requirements for Gyana yoga. We think that organs have to be controlled and so we close our eyes, shut our ears and in a secluded place we try to do Gyana yoga. But the mind has still the impurities and so mind is undisciplined and wanders on all matters, which are physically restrained, from the organs.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


We are in Thirukolur, which has been praised by Nammalwar in his hymns. In the sthala purana [history of the Kshetram], it is said that once Kubera, the wealth god, was cursed by Sri Parvathi, Consort of Sri Shiva, that he should lose one eye, his body should be deformed and he should lose his wealth. Kubera pleaded mercy and Sri Parvati asked him to go to this place and worship the Lord here to get him absolved. Kubera daily bathed in the river Tambrabarani and worshipped the Lord. Earlier all the wealth of Kubera had taken asylum in this Lord and so He is called Sri Vaitha Manidhi.He also appreciating Kubera’s devotion gave a small amount of wealth as installment. The Lord is in a reclining pose. He uses the measuring vessel as His pillow. When there was a crisis for Dharma, the Lord saved and Adharma was vanquished. So this can be called Dharma Kshetram and the Gita also was delivered in another Dharma Kshetram [Kuru Kshetram]. Those who need to recover lost wealth or want to earn more wealth, worship the Lord here. The material wealth can be lost but not the wealth in the form of Sri Vaitha Manidhi. Nammalwar was in Alwar Thirunagari, nearby. He considered himself as a woman in deep love with the Lord here and sang poems. In unnum soru [tharakam= life saving rice food], parugum neer [poshakam=the nourishing water he drinks] and thinnum vetrily [bhogyam= just for the pleasure of taste the betel leaves taken at the end of a meal]. Alwar says the Lord here is all for him. We will now see the 5th sloka of Chapter 3:

na hi kascit ksanam api
jatu tisthaty akarma-krt
karyate hy avasah karma
sarvah prakriti-jair gunaih

"Everyone is forced to act spontaneously according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment."

None can remain idle even for a second. Jatu =at any time, kshanam api= even a second, akarma krt= without doing anything, na hi =will not be there. That is, everyone does something always. Arjuna thought that by recourse to Gyana yoga he could remain idle. That is he need not have to fight. But actually, everyone right from the time he was born, has to do something. A newborn cries and sucks milk. It shakes its limbs. None has taught these and these actions are all natural. This is because the karma we have been doing over many births still lingers on. So Karma yoga is habitual but not Gyana yoga. Karma karyate= doing work, he= also, avasah= spontaneously or unconsciously, prakrit jairi= originated from this world and gunaih= characters or qualities [the three gunas= satva, rajo and tamo qualities]

Karma yoga is spontaneous and it is natural, while Gyana yoga requires special effort. Sarvah means everyone and here Swami Vedantha Desika in his Tatparya Chandrika, a commentary on Gita, explains that even a person, who with a determination wants to remain idle, cannot be so, as without his knowledge certain actions he would be doing. If one remains idle he would feel giddy and fall asleep and snore; these are all actions. Some drive mosquitoes even while asleep. So action can be without our knowledge. Gyana yoga has to be done with full knowledge to practice. Our actions voluntary and involuntary are propelled by the three qualities, which are part of this world. These three qualities will never go away but by cultivating satva quality the influence of other two can be minimized. This can be done by continuous practice of Karma yoga for which one is eligible. And, for Gyana yoga, satva quality is a must. By doing Karma like Aradhana [devotional service to God], He is pleased and the sins or papa are eliminated. Likes and dislikes are removed and increase the satva quality. Senses are controlled. Atman darshan is achieved. So basic requirement is practice of Karma yoga. Let us practice Karma yoga to please the Lord.

Monday, July 16, 2007


God has in a madura [melodious] way has given us Bhagavat Gita. Nammalwar also has rendered the same substance in a madura way, Thiruvaimozhi. To sing in praise of Nammalwar, was born Madurakavi Alwar in the present Kshetram, Thirukkolur. He was born in the Tamil month of Chitra and in the star constellation Chitra. He considered Nammalwar as his God. This is one of the Nava Thiruppati and the Lord here is Sri Vaitha Manidhi Perumal with Sri Kolur Devi as His Consort. In Sanskrit He is called Sri Nikshepa Vittha. While al the other Alwars sung in praise of Sriman Narayana, Madurakavi Alwar sang only about Nammalwar and he said he did not know any other god. Shastra says Guru or Acharya is God. He composed eleven hymns on Nammalwar and is called Kanninun Chirutthambu. He spread Alwars hymns all over. Nammalwar was alive in this world for only 32 years. After Alwar’s departure, Madurakavi Alwar wanted the works of Alwar to be publicized universally and so he carried the Nalayira Divya Prabandham in a palanquin and went to Madurai for acceptance by the Sangam poets. To test its acceptance they wanted the poems of Alwar to be carried by the Sangam Palakai [plank]. Only a couplet from Thiruvaimozhi was kept on the plank and was accepted. All the poets recognized the greatness of Prabhandham. They wondered unanimously whether the Alwar was Sriman Narayana or a human being, his abode was Vaikuntam or Alwar Thirunagari, had he Four arms or two, and was he wearing Thulasi or Vakula garland? So we have to be grateful to Madurakavi for bringing to light the greatness of Nammalwar. We should appreciate the efforts taken by him to expose the greatness of Alwar. This effort is Karma and we have to practice the same. Sri Krishna advises Arjuna not to go after Gyana yoga, as it is a mirage, while by doing his Kshatriya Dharma of fighting he can achieve atman sakshatkaram. The first Chapter was called Arjuna Vishada yogam, the next was Sankhya yogam and the present Chapter is called Karma yogam. This will straight away obtain atman darshan without Gyana yoga. Because all are not qualified to practice Gyana yoga and Sri Krishna’s intention is His message should reach all and not a few alone. Gyana yoga requires senses control while Karma yoga does not need this. Does it mean that if one practices karma yoga, control of senses is impossible? No, after sometime the Karma yoga will enable control of senses. Now the fourth sloka:

na karmanam anarambhan
naishkarmyam purusho ’snute
na ca sannyasanad eva
siddhim samadhigacchati

"Not by merely abstaining from work can one achieve gyana yoga, nor by renunciation can one attain that.”

Karmanam= by karma yoga, anarambhan=without starting or beginning, naishkarmyam= Gyana yoga [where Karma or action is absent], ca= and, sanyaasanad= abandoning [in the middle], sidhim=Gyana yoga,na samadigachhati=will not attain. By not starting Karma yoga or abandoning the Karma yoga in the middle will not enable one to practice Gyana yoga. This directly answers Arjuna’s query whether he could directly practice Gyana yoga and get atman darshan, without the recourse to Karma yoga so that he could avoid fighting, which was his Karma. He cannot skip Karma yoga. For beginners Karma yoga should be practiced. Arjuna asks after all it is desire which propels a person to do Karma yoga, so why not he desire to practice Gyana yoga? Desire is different from capability. Unless the capacity to do a work one should not indulge in it. Arjuna does not have the capability to practice Gyana yoga while he is fully qualified for Karma yoga.


Nammalwar has sung in praise of Sri Kallarpiran of Sri Vaikuntam, one of the Nava Tiruppathi. In Tamil Vaikuntam is called Vinnagaram [vinn= sky and nagaram=city]. A number of Kshetrams are called Vinnagaram. Oppiliappan koil is called Thiruvinnagaram. Then we have, Parameswara Vinnagaram, Kazhicheerama Vinnagaram, Nandipura Vinnagaram, etc. Only this Kshetram bears the same name as Sri Vaikuntam and the Lord also is called Sri Vaikuntapathi. The Lord exhibits simultaneously His greatness and His simplicity. We will now see the 3rd sloka of 3rd Chapter. Arjuna in the previous two slokas raised his doubts. Sri Krishna told both Karma yoga and gyana yoga and also said that atman sakshatkaram can be achieved only by Gyana yoga. Why not only Gyana yoga to be practiced? Why unnecessary Karma yoga, which means Arjuna has to participate in the war? He thinks Sri Krishna would not exploit Arjuna to eliminate the bad people like Duryodana. He further thinks that Karma yoga is not the step for Gyana yoga as both are having different requirements. Gyana yoga is nivrutti marg in that the senses have to be passive. The Karma yoga, on the other hand is pravrutti marg where the senses have to be active. Therefore Arjuna thinks the paths advised by Sri Krishna are opposite and so raised his doubts. He wants the confusion to be cleared and one path to be advised. Sri Krishna replies:

Sri-bhagavan uvaca
loke ’smin dvi-vidha nistha
pura prokta mayanagha
jnana-yogena sankhyanam
karma-yogena yoginam

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O sinless Arjuna, I have already explained that there are two types of paths to try to realize the self. Some are inclined to understand it by Gyana or intellect, and others by devotional service."

Asmin loke= in this world, maya= by Me, dvi vidha nishta = two types of paths or practices, pura = earlier [in the 2nd Chapter], prokta= were told. The two paths are Karma yoga and Gyana yoga. In the next line He says that Gyana yoga was for Sankhya or intellectuals and Karma yoga for yogis. Here two types of persons qualified for practicing the two yoga are differentiated. Doctor prescribes different medicines for different patients. Similarly, Sri Krishna prescribes different paths for different persons. It is customary for persons in this world to have different tastes and so it is said loke binna ruchi [people have varied interests]. So Arjuna should not get confused that all have to follow Karma yoga and then Gyan yoga. The slokas 55 to 71 in the last Chapter were for those who could control senses. Sankhya means intellect [to differentiate atman from body]. These persons are capable of controlling senses. In the last Chapter He said Karma yoga leads to clarity or purity of mind, which enables to practice Gyana yoga and then atman darshan. In this Chapter, practicing only Karma yoga leads to atman darshan. Some thing like double promotion. Karma yoga includes Gyana. The Gyana that atman is different from body. Service to God in the form of aradhana will please God and so get Moksham. This service is Karma yoga. What about Arjuna’s doubt that the two are contradictory? They are not contradictory. To practice Gyana yoga one should have mind purity or a serene mind. This can be achieved only by control of organs or senses. Such control can be best achieved by Karma yoga. So Karma yoga is step for Gyana yoga and they are not opposed to each other.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Sri Kallar Piran, Vaikunda Valli and Bhoo Devi

Thirumazhisai Alwar says that if we are devoted to Him, He is very near us in our mind; otherwise He is very far away. He is so simple for the devotees and for others He is difficult. Such a God has advised on the Bhakthi, Gyana and Karma yoga. Now we are to start the 3rd Chapter. Arjuna starts with a doubt and Sri Krishna replies. Sri Krishna is deceptive and He appears to be a thief. In today’s lecture we are at the Kshetram, Sri Vaikuntam, one of the Nava Thiruppati, where the Lord is called Sri Vaikuntpathi or Sri Kallarpiran or Sri Choranathan. He is the Lord of Vaikuntam then why should He be called thief here? Four-faced Brahma wanted to choose a good place for meditation. So he made the cane in his right hand as a youth to select a place. The youth was fascinated by this place and he stayed here and forgot to tell Brahma. Then Brahma not getting any news from the youth converted the water pot in his left hand as a girl and sent her to search. She found this place as ideal and informed Brahma. Brahma came here and started his meditation. The Lord pleased with Brahma’s devotion appeared before him and thereafter remained here in the same form in standing posture with Adisesha, the serpent, acting as umbrella. So He came to be known as Sri Vaikuntapathi. And the place came to be known as Sri Vaikuntam.There was a thief by name Kaladhooshakan Whatever wealth he stole, he would offer half of it to this Lord. The remaining wealth he would spend on noble causes. Once he robbed in the King’s palace and was caught. He somehow escaped from custody and surrendered to the Lord here and sought His help to save him. The Lord in the guise of Kaladhooshakan went to he king and faced trials. The king could not be harsh and showed love and esteem. Later, the Lord revealed Himself to the King and the King wanted to know what crime he had done that the Lord is appearing before him as a thief. The Lord informed that the King was not spending the wealth he had in the welfare of his subjects and noble causes. He advised him to donate his wealth for welfare. Because He came in the guise of a thief, He is called Sri Kallarpiran or Sri Choranathan [kallar in Tamil means thief and chora in Sanskrit means thief] one of His Consorts is Sri Choranayaki. Another Consort is Sri Vaikuntanayaki and we are at this sannidhi. Sri Krishna told so many things in the second Chapter and Arjuna got confused and became vague. So the third Chapter starts with Arjuna’s expression of his doubt. The first two slokas are from Arjuna and from 3rd sloka Sri Krishna replies.

arjuna uvaca
jyayasi cet karmanas te
mata buddhir janardana
tat kim karmani ghore mam
niyojayasi keshava

"Arjuna said: O Janardana, O Keshava, why do You want to engage me in this ghastly warfare, if You think that intellect is better than action?"

vyamisreneva vakyena
buddhim mohayashiva me
tad ekam vada niscitya
yena sreyo ’ham apnuyam

"My intelligence is bewildered by Your cotradictory instructions. Therefore, please tell me decisively which will be most beneficial for me."

Arjuna addresses Sri Krishna as Janardana which means removing the miseries of birth in this world. He asks if Sri Krishna’s opinion [mata] is Gyana [buddhi] is superior to Karma [action], then why does He compel Arjuna to fight the terrible [ghore] war? Arjuna understood in the last Chapter that Gyana yoga was superior to Karma yoga. From 39th to 52nd sloka, Sri Krishna eulogized Gyana yoga. Person practicing Karma yoga will practice Gyana yoga and then get atman sakshatkaram. So the lower step is Karma yoga and the next higher step is Gyana yoga to reach atman darshan. Arjuna understood that to get atman darshan it was Gyana yoga to be practiced. So, why not directly practice Gyana yoga and why waste efforts in Karma yoga? As an example, if we want to purchase an article worth Rs.100, and if this money is to be obtained from a friend, we would like the entire Rs.100 be given and not in installments of Rs.10, ten times. Arjuna feels that the initial Karma yoga was unnecessary. In Gyana yoga one has to sit and control the senses whereas in Karma yoga one has to perform action. In his case he has to fight to perform Karma yoga. In Gyana yoga he is not required to fight and after all it is Gyana yoga results in atman sakshatkaram. This suited him. So he in the first sloka puts forth his doubt.

In the next sloka he further asks why He is confusing him with two contradictory statemants. He is having doubts about the Karma yoga and Gyana yoga. In Cholasimhapuam, popularly known as Sholingur, there are two hills. One is Big hill where Sri Narasimha is gracing the devotees and the other is small hill where Hanuman is gracing. Here it is not that one has to climb the small hill to reach the big hill, as both are separate. And one has to climb separately both hills to have Darshan. Arjuna thinks Gyana yoga is like the Big hill and Karma yoga is like the small hill. He thinks both are separate and so feels Sri Krishna is vague. According to Arjuna for practicing the Gyana yoga one has to control senses and for Karma yoga it is opposite in that one has to freely allow organs to perform. It is like if one wants to do MS in chemistry, he should have done BS in chemistry and not in history. Arjuna feels that both Gyana yoga and Karma yoga are totally different from each other. Therefore he thinks there is contradiction. He says his buddhi is apparently confused and is not accusing Sri Krishna that He had confused Arjuna. He wants a single clarification on this confusion so that he will attain sreyas or better status. We will see how Sri Krishna replies to this.


Sri Varagunamangai Perumal

Today we are at the Kshetram Varagunamangai. Varam means supreme, gunam is character and mangai is girl. The Lord’s Consort is called Sri Varagunavalli Thayar or Sri Varagunamangai Thayar. She possesses supreme character and blesses devotees with mercy and enables them to reach the Lord. The Lord here is Sri Vijayasanar or Victory seated. He is seated victoriously. The right palm is in the gesture of varada or granting boons and the left palm is in ahvahana or welcoming sign. Thus the Lord welcomes the devotees to grant boons if they surrender and hold on to His feet. He is also called Sri Idarkadiyan [idar= our miseries, kadiyan= remover]. There was a sage Romesa. He had a disciple Sathyavan. Once Sathyavan bathed in a tank nearby. There was a fisherman fishing in the tank. As Sathyavan emerged from the tank, he saw a snake bit the fisherman. The fisherman fell dead and just then a float from the Heavens came down and carried the soul of the fisherman. Surprised Sathyavan rushed to the sage and enquired the reason for a simple fisherman reaching higher worlds. Sage Romesa then told the greatness of this Kshetram. Anyone born here is bound to get Moksham. By his good deeds in the earlier births he was born in this place and obtained Moksham Further the sage told that another disciple of him, who lived on the banks of river Rewa, came here and meditated. When the Lord appeared before him, he requested the Lord to be here in a seated posture to bless the devotees. We have seen that the Lord was in a reclining posture in Thiruppulingudi. In the Kshetram Sri Vaikuntam, we are to see in due course, the Lord is in a standing posture. The Lords of these three Kshetrams revealed a trait of the Lord – Bhogya thapa swarat. In our house when cooking is taking place and if we feel hungry we go to the kitchen and enquire whether the cooking was over. The reply could be to wait for 10 minutes. We wait and after sometime again we enquire as hunger increases. Some more time, is the reply from kitchen. Because of the intensity of hunger, we sit and wait. After sometime again we enquire and we are told to wait for a couple of minutes more. Unable to bear the hunger we lie down. Then the food is served and we eat eagerly and are happy. So as we expected food to be ready we were standing, then sat and finally laid down till food was served. Similarly, in these three Kshetrams also the Lord is waiting for the devotees in the standing, seated and reclining postures. Just as there was expectation of the completion of cooking, the Lord here waits for the devotees to be fully ‘cooked’ so as to be taken to His abode. Therefore Alwar in the same poem has praised all the three Kshetrams.

[puLiNGkutikkitandhu varaguNamangaiyirundhu* vaikundhaththuL ninRu*
theLindha_en_chindhai akangaziyaathE* ennaiyaaLvaay enakkaruLi*
naLindhacheerulakam moonRutanviyappa* naangaLkooththaadi nNinRaarppa*
paLingunNeer mukilinpavaLampOl* kanivaaychivappanNee kaaNavaaraayE.        9.2.4
4. BhagawaanE! At ThiruppuLingudi, You are blessing us with your reclining Beauty! At
VaraguNamangai Thirupathi, You are sitting so gracefully! And at Sri Vaikuntam, You
are showing Yourself in standing posture, so beautifully. You are in my (clear) mind
in all these three postures and are blessing me (without any gap and uninterruptedly).
You should shower Your mercy on us and show Yourself just by a mere thought of You by
Your bhakthAs and cool our hearts. You should surprise them by showing Your most
auspicious qualities and kalyANA guNAs and come straight. We should be excited and
highly elated to be blessed to see the most Beautiful Red mouth which is like the
most beautiful lightning and the Coral lipped creeper as seen in the midst of dark,
rain laden black clouds on the sky.In my front, for us to see Your exquisite lovely
beauty, You should bless us with Your presence right here, PHYSICALLY.]

   From here we are going to start the 3rd Chapter of Gita. On Gita, the great Acharya Alawandar, born in Kattumannar koil near Chidambaram and the grand son of Acharya Nathamuni, has made a great poem Gitartha sangraha condensing the entire concepts in 32 slokas. We will see the condensed sloka on the 3rd Chapter of Gita in the 7th sloka of Gitarthasangrha:

asakty¯a lokaraks.¯ayai gun.es.v¯aropya kartr. t¯am

sarve´svare va¯ nyasyokta¯ t.rt¯ıye karmaka¯ryata 7


We have to necessarily practice Karma yoga as it will result in atma sakshatkaram. So the essence of third Chapter is Karma yoga’s greatness. Did not we see this in the second Chapter? Previous Chapter had a small shortcoming. Let us review the steps involved in the second Chapter. With a rough basic knowledge of atman, the Karma yoga is to be practiced. This purifies the mind and then Gyana yoga is to be practiced. Then we get atman sakshatkaram. The doubt here is whether all are qualified to practice Gyana yoga. From 55th to 71st slokas in the 2nd Chapter we saw what is control of organs and senses. Is control of senses possible for the ordinary persons like us? This doubt would have surfaced. Sri Krishna realizing that all cannot practice Gyana yoga but all can surely practice Karma yoga, starts the third Chapter. The main difference between the 2nd and 3rd Chapters is this. In the midst of our daily chores of official work, domestic compulsions, social get together, etc., will we have time for Gyana yoga? This doubt has arisen in us and it is also due to Him. So He knows our mind and suggests ways. He is the One to uplift us from this mechanical life. It is difficult to find persons for Gyana yoga but for Karma yoga fairly large number of persons would be available. Karma yoga is performed, as we are involved in our chores. But some limits and boundaries are drawn within which we can freely do our routines. Some basic thoughts are needed while doing our duties and then that becomes the Karma yoga. If we say that persons are invited to sit in a place and meditate for half an hour, very few will turn up. But if we get a kilogram of flowers and invite persons to make beautiful garlands for the God, a large number of persons would volunteer. Because the latter is an action to be done with our limbs. While the former was to control the limbs and mind. Sri Krishna wants His message to reach a larger group and so He decides to defer Gyana yoga for the time. It is a very noble yoga and is not to be abandoned but just for our sake He keeps the Gyana yoga away for sometime.

Alawandar says that for the protection of all the persons in this world, this Chapter is told. We have seen in many corporate firms, there will be an R&D department finding new products. But all products will not be taken for manufacture and production, but only those, which are commercially viable. Because the product should be within the reach of consumers. Gyana yoga is very valuable but will lack any followers. Whereas Karma yoga can be practiced by many and so, Karma yoga itself can directly get atman sakshatkaram. So we do our daily duties realizing that they are performed driven by the three gunas- satva, rajo and tamas- but remembering that He is the Prime mover, and doing the duties with no attachments. So we have to realize that God commands the three qualities in us and we perform our duties. By such dedication of our duties at the feet of the Lord, we can get atman sakshatkaram. Here we are removing the Gyana yoga step and so the steps would be: atman knowledgeà Karma yogaà Clarity of mindà Atman darshan. The Gyana yoga is hidden in the Karma yoga itself. So separate Gyana yoga is unnecessary. We will see the 3rd Chapter in detail later.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Let us see what all we have understood. We reach Bhakti yoga through Karma yoga and Gyana yoga. Continuous Bhakti yoga will enable us to reach God. Only by practicing Karma and Gyana yogas one can practice Bhakti yoga. These are conclusively established. The eighteen chapters of Gita can be divided into three parts of six chapters each. In the first six chapters Karma and Gyana yogas are explained. Bhakti yoga is explained in chapters 7,8 and 9. So, the first step is Karma yoga and Gyana yoga. Bhakti yoga is the second step. We have to go step by step. So after practicing Karma and Gyana yogas we are taken to the Bhakti yoga. Karma and Gyana yogas make us to understand atman properly. We get atman darshan. Then we try to understand the God residing inside the atman and commanding it. To do this Bhakti yoga is the only way. By Karma and Gyana yogas we feel, understand and see the atman. We get the urge to see the God inside atman. Bhakti yoga when practiced continuously will make us realize God. We have so far seen the first two chapters. Entire first Chapter and the first ten slokas of second Chapter details Arjuna’s lamenting and his expressions. Then Sri Krishna talks. His sermon starts from the 11th sloka. He says to Arjuna that he appears to know all and at the same time shows ignorance and so He starts advising. The first Chapter is called Arjuna Vishada yogam as it details Arjuna’s worries. At the end he says to Sri Krishna that since Arjuna did not know what was correct, He should consider Arjuna as His disciple, His friend, His cousin and advise what was good for him. Sri Krishna starts His sermon with saying that just as He is eternal, so are Arjuna and all others. All existed, exist and will exist. From 12th sloka till 39th sloka the eternity of atman was explained. This was to impart the basic knowledge that body is perishable and atman is everlasting. Arjuna was having the wrong concept that he would destroy Bheeshma and Drona. He was told that only their bodies would be destroyed but the atman will remain. To make him understand He says all atman are all eternal.

From 39th sloka till 52nd sloka Karma yoga was explained. He told that a Karma yogi has to view the happiness and sorrow, profit and loss and victory and defeat impartially and equally. He was advised that he was born only to do his duty and he should not desire for the results. He should not aspire for cheap and inferior rewards but for higher rewards like atman sakshatkaram, which would get him all good things. In the 53rd sloka He said that by practicing Karma yoga, the mind would be serene and clear. All impurities would be removed. A pure mind becomes the base for Gyana yoga. Arjuna was curious to know how a Gyana yogi would be and he queries his desire in the 54th sloka. From 53rd till the last 71st sloka Sri Krishna talks of Gyana yoga. The 72nd sloka was a summary. So we now can summarize that atman is eternal and body is destroyable. By understanding the difference between atman and body we can perform Karma yoga. Practicing Karma yoga would purify the mind. Pure mind will be the base for Gyana yoga. Gyana yoga when practiced will enable atman sakshatkaram or atman darshan. So by practicing Karma yoga without any attachment would result in atman sakshatkaram. Though Karma yoga has to be practiced when young, at least in the final phase of life it should be practiced and get atman sakshatkaram. This Chapter is not only long but also is meritorious. The matter in this Chapter is difficult but the response from audience has been encouraging. It reveals the interest in our people to know our culture and to understand what Sri Krishna has told.

The greatness of the second Chapter is explained in Padmottara Puranam. Sri Parvati requests Sri Parameswara to explain the greaness of this Chapter. He replies what he heard from the conversation between Sri MahaLakshmi and Sriman Narayana on Gita. One Deva Sarma, a Brahmin, lived in a town in South. He was well learned. In spite of this he was having dissatisfaction. Once he requested a sage to know the reason for his dissatisfied mind. The sage asked him to meet a shepherd Mitravan living on the banks of river Godavari. When Deva Sarma met the shepherd, he could find the brilliance radiating from the face of Mitravan. He asked Mitravan that though he was a shepherd he looked so peaceful, while Deva Sarma was not. He described how he got this mental peace by another story. There was a person Dhurmathan in a country and he never did his duties but was spending time by eating food supplied by the king. When he died he took many births. Once he was born as a man and was friendly with a prostitute and got a child also. When both died the prostitute was born as a demon The demon once killed a hunter. After death the hunter was born as a tiger. The demon was born as a sheep, which was in the herd of Mitravan. Once the tiger chased the herd and all ran. The tiger was targeting that sheep, which was a prostitute in previous birth. The sheep ran chased by the tiger and in the forest both came near a temple. The chasing stopped and the two began conversing. The sheep told the tiger that since as a demon in the previous birth it killed the tiger who was a hunter, tiger could now kill the sheep and after all the atman cannot be killed. Tiger replied that it had no animosity to the sheep, as in the previous birth as a demon it was forced to kill the hunter. Thus the natural enemies became friendly. Mitravan, who had followed these, told that this was due to the fact that once an archaka [temple poojari] was not having peaceful mind and so he prayed to God. At that time he was taught the 2nd Chapter of Gita in this temple premises. That still reverberated in this place and that is why even natural enemies forgot their enmity. That is why the Gyana that atman is eternal and body is perishable, was understood by the tiger and sheep. Deva Sarma thus got the explanation and became enlightened.

We are seeing the greatness of Chapter two from another Kshetram, Varagunamangai also popularly known as Nattham. Sri Vijayasana, in a sitting posture is the Lord hare.


We are now in the Thiruppulingudi Kshetram. This is the domain of Lord Bhoomi Palan. In a dispute, Bhoodevi came away from Vaikuntam to this place and the Lord came here to pacify her and so the Lord is known as Bhoopalan or Bhoomipalan. The Lord here is in reclining posture and the Moolavar Icon is big. From His Navel sprouts a lotus flower with a long stem and in the flower is seated four-faced Brahma. From the entrance of the Sanctum sanctorum [Garbha Gruham] one cannot see the entire icon of the Lord and the feet are not visible. Since Sridevi and Bhoodevi are seated at the Lord’s feet, a peeping window has been arranged at the side of the prakaram [corridor] so that devotees as they come around the corridors in clockwise [prathikshanam], can have a view of the Lord’s feet. This is a unique feature in this temple. Once Swami Ramanuja visited this place and after that he wanted to visit Alwarthirunagari. The temple Archaka’s daughter was drying paddy in the street. Swami Ramanuja enquired her whether she knew where Alwarthirunagari was. She replied that it was very nearby, at a hearing distance only. Surprised Swami Ramanuja asked her was that so near? Pat came her reply. ‘Don’t you know Thiruvaimozhi? Nammalwar has said that he is at hearing distance only from this temple’. Hearing this Swami Ramanuja was awe struck at the knowledge of the girl and fainted.

kotuvinaippataigaL vallaiyaay* amarark_ku_itar_keta, achurargatkitar_chey*
katuvinai_nanchE! ennutai_amuthE* kalivayal thiruppuLiNGkutiyaay*
vadiviNaiyillaa malarmakaL* maRRai_nilamakaL pitikkummelladiyai*
kotuvinaiyEnum pitikkanNeeorunNaaL* koovuthalvaruthal cheyyaayE.        9.2.10
10. Oh Lord! You are able to take Your weapons immediately for the sake of Your
BhakthAs. You are the One who kills the asurAs to protect Devas! You are the one
who is like the poison for asurAs! You are so gracefully reclining at ThiruppuLingudi
. The unmatched, peerless, most merciful Periya Piraatti and BhUmi piraatti gently
squeeze and massage Your Beautiful tender ankles and Feet. Like them, I, the
incorrigible sinner, mahA paavi too, am longing to massage/squeeze Your Lotus Feet.
Hence, Please take me at Your place to do such kaimkaraym for You. If You do not wish
to take me, please come here at least in front of me to enable me todo that.]

From such a renowned place we are to see the last sloka of 2nd Chapter.

esa brahmi sthitih partha
nainam prapya vimuhyati
sthitvasyam anta-kale ’pi
brahma-nirvanam rcchati

"this will reach bramham, oh! Partha, after which there is no bewilderment. This should be practiced at least in the final phase of life and attain the pure happiness of bramham."

Esa sthithi – this state, brahmi- will get us brahmi. At least in the antha kale-final phase of life, should remain in this state. Then it would beget very high reward. Sri Krishna says this state- which state? Here we should interpret to indicate the essence of 2nd Chapter –Karma Yoga. It was started that Arjuna should realize the eternity of atman and should uphold his dharma of protecting his people and fight. It is not just Karma yoga but asanga Karma yoga. That is unattached, without the feeling ‘I did’ or ‘mine’ and without a desire in the result. Bramhi means it would get brahmam, which can mean it would enable reaching the abode of Sriman Narayana, that is Vaikuntam. Or, it could mean it would enable to get atman sakshatkaram or atman darshan. We have already mentioned that from 2nd to 6th Chapters, Gita deals with Atman only. From 7th to 9th chapters it would deal with attaining Paramatman. So in the Chapters 2 to 6, it will not be improper if we interpret Brahman to mean atman. This way we first understand atman well before understanding God. Therefore esa sthithi- this stage of Karma yoga is capable of getting atman darshan. In the second line, yenam- whoever, prapya- attains [atman darshan], na vimuhyati- will never get confused or will never grieve. Earlier we have seen that atman darshan would banish all miseries and worries. In the third line, asyam- in this Karma yoga, anta kalepi- at least in the final years or phase of life of a person, sthithva- do Karma yoga. In the last line, nirvanam- unalloyed by miseries and so pure happiness, rcchati- reaches, brahmam-the atman darshan or Moksham. With this Sri Krishna concludes. He advises Arjuna to stay in asanga Karma yoga that would get him atman sakshatkaram. Once that state is reached, there is no room for confusion or worries. Normally, this realization should have come up in youth time. Even if the person has become old, let him not think that Karma yoga is impossibleto practice. Even in the final phase of life, Karma yoga can be practiced and attain the eternal bliss. So we have to understand from this sloka that even if we did not realize the merits of Karma yoga all these years, it is not late to start even in the final phase of life. We can involve ourselves, even at the ripe old age, in selfless service to others, society, country or world. We should dedicate such activities as service to God. Any work we do as long as it is not self-centered and without ego and it is within the accepted boundaries of shastra, can be regarded as Karma yoga. We should get that yearning for Karma yoga at least in our old age and try to reach a little of the stitha prajna state mentiond by Sri Krishna. We should try earnestly. By practicing if we are able to achieve something it would give us that happiness. Our elders have toiled to make these methods available for us and so we should try to practice them. Karma yoga is not to be performed in a secluded jungle leaving all our near and dear ones. In fact it was Arjuna who said he would go to forests and do meditation and it was Sri Krishna Who prevented him from that and asked him to practice Karma yoga in his routine work. So our daily life is our playground and in that only we have to overcome all our challenges by practicing Karma yoga. Sri Krishna is always there to help us and we need not bother about victory or defeat in our endeavors. If we view life as an ocean of distress only, we will only get mental depression. Some regard life as challenge. The difficulty here is that since it is taken as challenge, there will be always the urge to be victorious. This will develop egoism and all our works will be self-centered. But we have to regard life as an opportunity and practice Karma yoga incessantly and do good for all and this universe. This is the essence of the 2nd Chapter.

Monday, July 9, 2007


Our elders have been singing Pallandu for Alwars. Why do we pray that the Alwars should live long [Pallandu]? It is they who have exposed God’s qualities and His omnipresence. If only God is imagined to be of atomic in size and had not appeared before great sages and Alwars, many would have never believed in the existence of God. Many would not have made any efforts to understand God. His beautiful forms have turned many atheists to great devotees. Today if we have any interest in Him or His qualities or His actions, it is all because of Alwars hymns. Nammalwar leads all the Alwars and we are now in one more Kshetram in the Navathiruppathi. This Kshetram is known as Thiruppulingudi and here the Lord is in a reclining posture. Here He is called Sri Bhoomi Palan, which means King [administrator] of Earth. The exact Tamil translation is Sri Kasini Vendhan and so He is called. The Reclining posture is always considered a grade better than the sitting or standing postures. At His feet on either side, Sridevi and Bhoodevi are seated serving the Lord. Nammalwar prays to God that just as these two Consorts and like Lakshmana in Srimad Ramayana, He should be asked to serve the Lord. After all he is just nearby in Alwar Thirunagari. From this Kshetram we will see the 71st sloka. As mentioned earlier, 69th 70th and 71st slokas describe different stages of a gyani who had atman darshan. The 69th sloka mentions the highest stage and 70th sloka mentions one in a slightly lower level. The person mentioned in 69th sloka does not see any of the worldly matters. This is same as Vaseekara samgya. For the person in 70th sloka, the worldly matters are all felt and seen. But he is immune to them and these worldly matters inflict no changes on him. Now we have to see the 71st sloka. Here the person is at his initial stage taking efforts for atman darshan. From this level he upgrades himself to the level mentioned in 70th sloka and then further uplifts him to the level indicated in 69th sloka.

vihaya kaman yah sarvan
pumams carati nihsprhah
nirmamo nirahankarah
sa shantim adhigacchati

"A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego—he alone can attain Moksham"

The person mentioned here starts his efforts. We can listen to the levels in 69th and 70th slokas but very difficult to achieve. But the 71st sloka is intended for ordinary persons like us. Yah puman- that Jeevatman or person, vihaya Kaman- discarding all sensual pleasures, nisprahah- should abandon all desires. To do this he should be nirmamao- not claiming possession or the feeling ‘my’. Also he should have the feeling of nirahankara or not imagining body as soul or atman. Such a person would lose interest in material pleasures and would attain Moksham or eternal bliss. Shantim means desire less, not involving in materialistic pleasures and brahma prapti or reaching the God. Here Sri Krishna tells what one has to do to get that peace and eternal bliss. First step is nirahankaraha. Next is nirmamaha. Next is nishprahaha. Next is vihaya Kaman and finally atman darshan. To have atman darshan, we have to follow the four steps. We have to first destroy ahankaram. Normally this is commonly used to indicate pride. We should know why this comes? When someone does not do what we want, we abuse him and start finding faults with every action of him. This happens because we think atman and body are same. Aham is self or soul and we assume it is body, it is called, ahankaram. The soul is not man or tree or an animal. The bodies of all these do not have the intellect or gyana. But Atman has intellect. Without understanding the basic difference between soul and body, we start assuming atman is body then we are said to have ahankaram. What is the advantage in differentiating atman from body? When it is exam time, we are to study all night without sleeping. But we feel ‘ I am getting sleep or I feel sleepy’. But actually, it is the body, which requires rest and sleep. Atman never gets tired and so does not need rest. If this correct perception is there during exam time then we can throw off that laziness and sleep and study. But by going the way the body requires, one would feel asleep and may not be able to study. A sprinter, when reaching the winning pole never thinks of the aching legs but thinks only of victory. At this point the sprinter looks at atman as different from body. This is a great advantage to progress. Next, we should discard the mamakaram or assuming propreitorship. In this world nothing is ours and we carry nothing when departing from this world. But once we think something as ours, then we tend to protect it. The only thing, which can be claimed as ours, is gyana or knowledge and it will be enough if we can protect that. All others, which we claim as belonging to us, are all body, related only. The minute atman does not need any clothes or decorations. So avoiding mamakaram will drive away our desire to possess. Next is nishpraha, or discarding desires on materials. As long as water is there in a well, more water would spring. But if we dry the well totally, then no water would spring. So if we discard the materials then they will also leave us. This would lead to vihaya Kaman that is driving away the desires. This will result in atman darshan.

Friday, July 6, 2007


The Lotus eyed Lord of Thirupperai is blessing the devotees with Sri Sudarsana discus in the right hand and Sri Panchajanya conch in the left hand. Here we may have two questions: one, why the conch is mentioned first by Alwar and others and then only the discus is mentioned? Second, what is the connection between His lotus like eyes and the Discus and Conch? Though Sri Sudarsana has many great qualities, when it is ordered to destroy someone, it has to necessarily leave the Lord’s hand and after sometime only it returns back to His right hand. But in the case of the Conch, there is no time when it has ever left the Lord’s hand. More than that, it is the Conch, which is kissed by the Lord when He wants to blow the Conch. This privilege Discus cannot have. To answer the second question, the Lord’s eyes are like the Lotus flower. The Lotus flower blossoms when Sun rises and closes its petals when the Sun sets or when the Moon is shining. The Discus has the brilliance of innumerous Suns and so the Lotus like eyes open as a lotus flower blossoms. The Conch, on the other hand is white like a moon and so seeing that, the eyes close, as a Lotus flower would do. So, it appears the eyes of the Lord open wide and close alternately and Alwar is mesmerized by this beauty and so mentions this as he sees the Sri Sudarsana and the Panchajanya. We can also visualize this in our memory and thereby we can involve our senses in this magnificent vision and get our senses controlled. Our mind need not wander on various persons as to what harm they did or what abuses were hurled at us. By visiting temples and after return, memorizing the brilliant image of the Lord our time would be spent better. This will cultivate the satva quality in us and the mind gets disciplined. The Pandya king who ruled this place brought 108 Sri Vaishnava devotees from Thiruvellarai [in Chola kingdom] and wanted to feed them with food offered to the Lord here. When the devotees assembled, the king found only 107 persons and there was a shortage of one. The king was worried as to how to fulfill his desire. At that time the Lord appeared as a devotee and claimed that He was the 108th person and participated in the Dhadheeyaradhanai. So devotion to the Lord will enable us to have atman darshan. In the 69th sloka Sri Krishna explained how the night for ordinary people who do not have a control over their senses, is daylight for persons who have atman darshan. When ordinary people are awake, that is they are active in the worldly pleasures, it is night for atman gyani. This is the highest state for such enlightened persons. Here the person does not see those worldly matters. But in the next sloka, Sri Krishna tells of an enlightened person, who comes into contact with such worldly matters and is not influenced or affected by them. This is a lower state than the person mentioned in the last 69th sloka. Earlier we mentioned that the child devotee Prahlada was tortured by his father in many ways. Serpents were directed to bite Prahlada. But he saw the serpent as the bed of Sriman Narayana and so nothing happened to him; he was rolled down a hill and he saw Govardan, which was lifted by the Lord to protect the cowherds. He was given poison to drink and prahlada saw the blue hue of the Lord and so poison had no effect on him. He was drowned in the ocean and he saw it as the abode of the Lord and so he was saved. This devotion is a very superior state and what Sri Krishna mentions is of persons like us. The difference is that when they see a serpent or poison they do not show fear or run away but look at it indifferently. The snake or poison may kill these persons but they take it in their strides, as they are aware that body is perishable while their atman is eternal. In the earlier case the poison or snake never came in the sight of those persons; but here, though they come into contact with these they have no impact on these persons. Sri Krishna explains this with an example in the 70th sloka:

apuryamanam acala-pratishtham
samudram apah pravishanti yadvat
tadvat kama yam pravishanti sarve
sa shantim apnoti na kama-kami

"A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires—that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still—can alone achieve Moksham, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires."

In the ocean all river waters mingle. With that inflow, the level of the ocean does not rise. Similarly, when the rivers are dry and when there is no inflow, the level of the ocean does not fall. It remains constant -acala. Tadvat- similarly, all worldly desires and miseries even when attack, the person, who has atman darshan, he does not change and remains unaffected. Such a person attains the supreme status of shantim or Moksham. Whereas Kama yami, the ordinary persons who are after worldly matter, will never reach this position.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Wearing a garland of Vakula flowers, Nammalwar has sung in praise of the Lord of Thirupperai. This place is the domain of Sri Makaranedunkuzhaikadhar. We are now below a tree bearing Vakula flowers and near the Sthala Vruksham [Temple tree] Bilva tree. There is a unique feature in this temple. Normally in all temples, the Garuda sannidhi will be exactly opposite to the Perumal sannidhi. But here the Garuda is placed slightly away. There is a story on this and Alwar also has indicated why the Garuda is not exactly in front of the main Sannidhi. Alwar imagines the Lord mounted on Garuda and is having a great procession. He imagines his mind to be the vast street in which this procession takes place. The Lord does not regard the Vaikunta or the Milky Ocean or the Solar system; but regards the minds of His devotees like Alwar as the abode of His liking. So Alwar recreates an entire festival for the Lord in his mind. He invites us near him and wants us to listen to the beats of Garuda carrying the Lord and running in procession. That is his faith and belief that the Lord is dwelling in his mind! People of this place wherever they might be would make it a point to visit this place during Garudothsavam. In this place the lord uninterruptedly listens to the sound of Vedas, festivals and the noise of children playing. From the sannidhi the Lord could not see the children playing in the streets and so requested Garuda who stood opposite to Him, to move on the side so as to get a view of the children playing. This is the reason why Garuda sannidhi is not opposite to the main sannidhi, but slightly away. If we can also like Alwar treat our mind as the abode of the Lord, then our mind will not go after the organs or worldly matters. So, whenever we think of this Kshetram, the Lord mounted on the Garuda is thought of. In the ordinary streets one may throw garbage and unwanted things. But once it is His sannidhi, we tend to maintain the sanctity and cleanliness. Similarly, if we make our mind the residence of ordinary mortals, then all sorts of things would accumulate. But if we regard it as the street for His procession, then we would maintain sanctity and keep it clear of cheap and unwanted things. We have to regard the mind as His residence and carefully maintain it. This is the most important aspect in the 2nd Chapter of Gita. From 55th sloka to 68th sloka the Lord explained the need for control of the organs. In the four slokas –55th, 56th, 57th and 58th- four samgyas or stages were mentioned. They are Vaseekara smgya, Yekendriya samgya, Vyatireka samgya and Yatamana samgya. In the 59th sloka He mentioned that by getting atman darshan, the organs get controlled. In the 60th sloka He told that by controlling organs, atman darshan would be realized. When Arjuna was confused, He told him in the 61st sloka that to control the organs, he should submit the senses in Him only. In the 62nd and 63rd slokas He made it clear how the atman, which does not think of God goes in bad surroundings and tumbles down to the bottom. In the next four slokas –64th, 65th, 66th and 67th - He explained once again how the person who devotes himself in Him, gradually rises up and how the people with wandering mind descend. In the 68th sloka He told that therefore, by devoting unto Him and by withdrawing the senses from worldly matters, one starts Gyana yoga and reach supreme status. In the following three slokas of 69th, 70th and 71st, Sri Krishna tells what all advantages accrue to that person who had atman darshan. The higher stages are explained in the three slokas in descending order, as was done in 55,56,57 and 58 slokas. In the 55th sloka Vaseekara samgya was told as the highest stage. Here in the 69th sloka He is going to tell the highest reward for the Gyani. The 56th sloka dealt with the lower level stage Yekendriya samgya. Here in 70th sloka the middle reward will be explained. In the 57th and 58th slokas the next lower stages were explained. In the 71st sloka the early rewards are mentioned. We will now see the 69th sloka carefully. Sri Krishna explains with some examples. We already witness that when it is daytime for us, it is night in North America and vice versa. Similarly, for birds like crows, visibility is there in daytime. But for nocturnal birds like owls, nighttime is visible clearly. So we can say the day of crows is night for owls and the day of owls is night for crows. Citing this Sri Krishna says that the day for a person, who has controlled the senses, is night for the undisciplined person whose mind wanders on worldly matters. That is the night for the ordinary person is day for the Atma gyani.

ya nisa sarva-bhutanam
tasyam jagarti samyami
yasyam jagrati bhutani
sa nisa pasyato muneh

"What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage."

Sarva bhuthanam- all ordinary beings, that is those who have not disciplined the senses, for them [Atman darshan] is nisa- night. Here night means for those persons atman chintana or perception of atman is night. Just as we say in our conversation that if we do not understand anything, we say it is all Greek and Latin. So atman darshan is not understandable for ordinary person and so he regards it as night. Here night signifies ignorance or darkness. But samyami- those who have control over the senses, are jagrati- awake for tasyam- atman darshan. That is what is night or darkness for the ordinary persons, is bright daylight awakening for the person who has controlled his senses and so he is active. This is the first part of the sloka. In the second half, yasyam- here the ordinary persons are all awake, mune-the person who has controlled his senses, sees night. That is we are all active as in daylight in worldly matters and enjoy the inferior desires. But he, who has had atman darshan and controlled his senses, finds darkness in such worldly matters. Sri Krishna desires that we should all raise to this level of person who controls his senses. This is the highest level.