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.