Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The vimanam [dome above the sanctum sanctorum] in Uthamarkoil is called Udyoga vimanam. Beneath this is the Lord reclining on the serpent. The stala vriksha [sacred tree of this place] is Banana tree and surrounded by many banana trees the place is enchanting. Near this temple is a place called Azhwar pattavarthy, where Thirumangai Alwar lived while executing the sacred work of building the walls in Srirangam temple. By the side of this is the Kadamba theertham, pushkarini of the temple. Some 250 years back, British and French forces fought here but they ensured no damage was done to this temple. They also donated ornaments to this temple. Andal in Her Thiruppavai 3rd song says, "Ongi ulagalanda uthaman per padi..". So His name is more sacred than Himself. In the last sloka Sri Krishna asks how His law book could not correct people? Swami Desikan tells why the text books are not able to correct us. There are umpteen text books preaching us to obey parents, to speak truth, to be kind to all, to respect elders, not to desire for other's wife, etc. In spite of these, people continue to indulge in bad actions. Why? Because, the vasanai that is lingering in so many births is still there and it is not that easy to get rid of them. Such a knowledge can not be abruptly cut by mere reading of all texts preaching good actions. Secondly, the senses feel what is clearly visible or felt which is called prathyaksham. Whereas what the vedas say are abstract and so is difficult to follow. But by reading vedic texts only one could get Gyana yoga. For this senses have to be controlled. But the senses are accustomed over millions of births the way they are functioning. It is therefore very difficult to abruptly divert by mere reading of vedas. Whereas in Karma yoga such abrupt change is not expected and the senses will function in their accustomed way and slowly little by little, they will come to be controlled. Arjuna feels that if he could find the root of this lingering vasanai, he could eliminate and proceed to Gyana yoga. Sri Krishna replies this in the 34th sloka:

indriyasyendriyasyartheraga-dvesau vyavasthitautayor na vasam agacchettau hy asya paripanthinau
"There are principles to regulate attachment and aversion pertaining to the senses and their objects. One should not come under the control of such attachment and aversion, because they are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization."

He mentions two things by usage of dvesau, agachettau and paripanthinau. Indriyaye = the five gyanendriya or the organs by which we learn or know. These are eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin which are used respectively to see, hear, smell, taste and feel anything to know. These are knowledge organs. The second indriya mentioned denotes Karmendriya or action organs. These are also five and are mouth [ to eat to live], hands [to do], legs [to move], anus [to excrete waste matter] and the reproductive organ. Arthe = the targets of these ten organs. For example good sight is the target for eyes and similar for other organs. Raga dvesau = the twin likes and dislikes, vyavastitau = get established. That is when we deploy the ten organs, likes and dislikes get involved. When we listen to sound if it is good music we like and if it is noise we dislike. These likes and dislikes enable us to act. If these actions are not for obtaining Moksham or are with the feeling " I am doing", then we acquire papa/punya, which fetch us more rebirths and the rebirth will involve us in actions with likes and dislikes and again we acquire more papa/punya and the cycle continues. But if we do our actions with detachment then no papa/punya will adhere and we can get out of the rebirth cycle. We do not like to hear noise and we like to hear sweet music. Just like a child likes to have mother's milk. This like and dislike is embedded in us in so many births that these are natural to us. Only by eliminating this vasanai one can enter Gyana yoga. This is very difficult as the vasanai is embedded. Tayo = these likes and dislikes, na vasam agachhetau =should not captivate us, asya = because, paripanthinau = these twins can not easily be defeated or driven away. Sri Krishna tells that Arjuna should vanquish the likes and dislikes. This tends Arjuna to think that he could drive this twin and start Gyana yoga. But Sri Krishna tells that he should avoid that path or proceed in that path with proper escort and guards. Here also we are near the Udyoga vimanam. Udyogam means Karma yoga and so Sri Krishna advocates Arjuna to follow Karma yoga and avoid Gyana yoga.

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