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
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.