Wednesday, August 22, 2007


We are at an important ghat in the river Kaveri at Srirangam and is called Ammamandapam. This river starting from Karnataka province flows west ward and appears as a garland around Srirangam as a garland. The river water is clear. One Alwar says the Kaveri water is mucky or unclear, why? When she [Kaveri] flows from West, she brings her daughter Sri Ranganayaki and lots of wealth and so is in an exuberant mood and so she is confused. When leaving Srirangam, the agony of parting away from her son-in-law Sri Ranganatha and her daughter, makes her look mucky! The Lord Sri Ranganatha arrives at this ghat during Padhinettam Perukku on the 18th day of Tamil month Aadi and on the full moon day of Tamil month Chitrai. During the latter festival, Gajendra Moksham is enacted. We can see how the elephant and crocodile of this story and the 27th sloka are related:

prakriteh kriyamananigunaih karmani sarvasahahankara-vimudhatmakartaham iti manyate
"The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three qualities of material nature."

Till now Sri Krishna has been advocating Karma yoga, as that is habitual to us, it is easier to follow and can be done by those who have not been able to control the senses. Now in the next four slokas He says that all our actions are propelled by the three gunas or qualities. Instead of thinking that we are doing our actions, but we are induced to act by the three qualities and nurturing a detachment will make us wiser. aham= I, kartha = am doer, iti manyate = like this believes, ahankaram = this feeling [that I am the doer], vimudhatma = makes him foolish. He advises Arjuna that no individual can claim to be the sole doer of any action as many others are in the team that does the action. We do alright. But there is a force behind that. The three gunas induce us to do any action. But these are abstract qualities and so how satva, rajo and tamo gunas could induce? If we analyze further, God commands the three gunas which surround us to act. God is like a charioteer, with the three qualities as reigns, drives us, the horses. But when an action is thought as done by us, we develop interest in that. Daily we see news paper and if someone achieves a distinction in sports or other activities we simply read the item and forget it. But if the achiever happens to be us, then we preserve the news paper cutting and see frequently, as we develop interest only when the action is done by us. When we do not think an action is not by done us we get detachment and this keeps us away from the papa and punya associated with that action. We can draw this lesson from the story of Gajendra. That elephant was grabbed by the crocodile, and for 1000 years it thought it could get freed from the crocodile by its power [ahankaram]. But when it realised that there was another force motivating the crocodile and its sufferings are also propelled by that force, the elephant cried out for the help of that Force, Sri Narayana and it was saved. Prakrutie gunaihi = this world with all the three gunas, sarvasaha= always and by all means, kriyamanani = getting done, karmani = all actions are there. Our body is made from this Prakriti and so is always associated with the three qualities. So all our actions are induced by these. But when he thinks that he is the doer, he is foolish not to realize the motive of the three gunas. Such realisation will come if one knows that the atman and body are different. So like the elephant we should discard the ahankaram feeling. Atman can not do anything by itself but with the association of the three qualities and this feeling alone will make us wiser to attain Moksham.

No comments: