In the Alwars hierarchy, Nammalwar is fifth among the ten Alwars. Including Alwar Thirunagari, there are nine Kshetrams regarded as NavaThiruppathi. Among these is a Kshetram Thirukkulandai, popularly known as Perunkulam. But Alwar in his hymn mentions as Thirukkulandai or Thenkulam. The Lord here is Sri Mayakoothan. With Sri Kamalavathi Nachiar on His chest and with Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi on the sides, He graces the devotees. From here we are going to see the 66th sloka of 2nd Chapter of Gita. Before that let us see the history of this place. There is a big pond here and it is known as Thenkulam and Perunkulam. Long ago a sage by name Vedasara and his wife Kumudavalli, daily bathed in this pond and worshiped the Lord here praying for a child. The Lord blessed them with a female child, who was named Kamalavathi. The girl meditated and prayed that she should be His wife only. Admiring her staunch devotion, the Lord took her on His chest. Now He graces in this form to all devotees. Along with them a small idol of Garuda also could be seen. Normally, Garuda idol is placed in front of the temple. After accepting Sri Kamalavathi, sage Vedasara was devoting himself in the service of the Lord here. Once his wife Kumudavalli was abducted by a demon and hid her in the Himalayas. Vedasara prayed the Lord to restore his wife and the Lord accordingly, mouted on Garuda killed the demon and brought Kumudavalli back. He danced on the head of the demon and so He is called Sri Mayakoothan [Wonderful Dancer]. This as an unimaginable feat of the Lord. Enchanted by His beauty, Nammalwar has composed one song on this Lord. In this place there are many ponds on all directions. By devoting ourselves in Him, we can get atman darshan. This has been already told in the previous slokas. We have to always remember that in order to get our organs and mind disciplined, we have to devote ourselves in Him. Control of mind results in serene mind. Purified mind will get us atman darshan. From the 55th sloka, Sri Krishna is telling how by controlling organs one becomes a gyana yogi. The easiest way to achieve this is to worship His graceful image. If we do not do this, what all the bad consequences will engulf one, was also told. Now the 66th sloka:
nasti buddhir ayuktasya
na cayuktasya bhavana
na cabhavayatah shantir
asantasya kutah sukham
"One who is not devoted in the Supreme [in Krishna consciousness] can not have atman darshan without which a steady mind on atman is not possible, and so there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?"
He explains what all will not accrue if specific things are not done and finally, sukham i.e. Moksham will not be there. Yuktam, is surrendering our organs in Him. For the one who does not think or meditate on Him, no possibility of the intellect or buddhi for atman darshan. By devoting one’s organs, mind and intellect only, one would acquire atman darshan. Atman is so minute it is not that easy to visualize it. Impure minds can never get atman darshan. To purify mind, we have to devote our organs in Him. Ayuktam means the one who does not devote oneself in God. Such a person would never get atman darshan. What if one does not get it? If that were not there the bhavana or the thoughts on atman would not be there. That is the deep meditation will not be possible. This is told in the second line. A proper understanding of atman will only result in meditating on atman. Then we will waste all our time only in the routine things, which we are thinking all the time. Alwar asks how are we spending our 24 hours at our disposal. We reply, we have innumerous things to plan and think and enjoy, but we are wondering what Alwar is doing? Alwar all the time is seeing the same Lord and nothing else. So we think the Alwar does not have variety. Because of this they do not see the normal things, which we see. Day in and day out they are seeing the same images and the same festivals. Whereas we see so many places, eat variety of foods and listen to variety of music, drama, etc. It therefore appears that we have much more things to see and enjoy while Alwars do not have this advantage. But actually, even though they see only one Object, It s the one which is enabling us to see so many. So, if we also could ‘see’ Him, then there will not be any necessity to see anything else. So meditation on Him and atman is very much necessary. A person without atman darshan can never meditate on atman. In the third line, He explains what will happen to one who does not meditate. Here the word shanti is mentioned. Normally this means peace. But can peace bring shanthi? If we go to an isolated place where the surroundings are all peaceful, can our mind be peaceful? But a yogi, even amidst the noises in our towns would be peaceful in his meditation. So surroundings do not contribute to shanti. We are seeing that some persons sleep only if some noise is there. Absence of such sound may make them sleepless. Actually, if we see the correct interpretation of shanti it is desireless. A contented life with satisfaction with what one possesses, one may have shanti. This shanti would be there only if we could think of atman. This is told in the 3rd line. Desire less will result in shanti. Happiness accumulates with desires being lesser and lesser. This happiness will be lost as desires increase. Persons earning small wages with honest labor are able to sleep peacefully. But persons earning in crores daily, do not have this happiness. In the last line Sri Krishna tells, that lack of desire less will not get one sukham, which means here Moksham. In this sloka four stages of Ashtanga yoga are mentioned. We have heard of Patanjali’s Yoga Shastra. This is called, Ashtanga yoga and has eight stages. They are: 1. Yamam. 2. Niyamam. 3.Asanam. 4.Pranayamam. 5.Pratyaharam. 6.Dyanam. 7.Dharanai. and 8.Samadhi. Yamam and Niyamam mean the controlling of organs and mind. Asanam is sitting in the proper posture. Pranayamam is breathing properly using one nostril for inhaling and the other for exhaling. Prathyaharam is diverting the mind from all other matters and concentrating on the atman. Dyanam is deep meditation of atman. Dharanai is desire less in all others and remain detached. Samadhi is meditating on God. This is Ashtanga yoga. Out of these the latter four – Pratyaharam, Dyanam, Dharanai and Samadhi are mentioned d in the 66th sloka. First line says that devoting in God one could have atman darshan and this is Pratyaharam. In the next line He said that atman darshan will enable meditating on atman and this is Dyanam. Thinking and meditating on atman would enable one to get rid off desires in other things and that is Dharanai. In the last line He said, one could get Moksham and that is Samadhi. On our own we are unable to control organs. Why do we visit temples often? By having such darshan, our papas are dissipated, rajo/tamo gunas get diminished, likes and dislikes are removed, organs and mind get controlled. This would make us desire less and we get shanti. We therefore worship Sri Mayakoothan and get shanti.