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.