Tuesday, September 18, 2007


In Srivilliputhur, during Thiruadipooram festival, on the 5th day, Sri Andal gets a sacred bath [Thirumanjanam] in this mandapam only. Five Lords of various temples assemble on that day. They all bless the devotees from this mandapam, seated on Garuda vahanam. Sri Andal is considered as the shadow of Sridevi or Sri Lakshmi. Srivilliputhur is in Malli country [kingdom] and Sri Andal as the peahen of Malli , decorates the Chest of the Lord. Sri Andal is on the right of Sri Rangamannar. He appears placing His left hand on the Garuda to His left. In the right hand He holds the scepter. Sri Andal is holding a parrot in Her left hand. In one of Her verses, She tells a cuckoo bird to coo so that the Lord appears and She promises the cuckoo bird that She will make the bird friendship with the parrot in Her hand. During the Margazhi festival all the 30 days this parrot and the garlands She adored are all sent daily to Sri Venkatachalapathy of Thirumala- Thirupathi. Mangalasasanam is praying the Lord to bless all with all good things. In the festival, the Lords of Thiruthangal [Sri Appan], Thiruannamalai [Sri Srinivasan] and Thirumalirunsolai [Sri Azhagar] assemble here. Also the Lords of the local temple Sri Vatapathra Sayi and Sri Rangamannar join them. All the five Lords are greeted by Perialwar and Mangalasasanam is done. This happens around 930 and 1100 a.m. In the night around 1100 p.m. Garuda sevai will be performed. This is similar to the Garuda sevai at the Nava Thiruppathi vis-a-vis Nammalwar [9 garudas] and at Thirunangoor vis-a-vis Thirumangai Alwar [11 garudas]. We are able to worship and get blessings with ease in these places. Swami Koorathalwan says that the Lord with such Supremacy and greatness, is available in so many Kshetrams for people like us to worship and get blessings. He has two qualities Greatness and Simplicity. Only greatness will make us far away from Him. Only simplicity will not make us fall at His feet. So a combination of these makes Him the Lord approachable and get His blessings. Arjuna had a doubt whether the lord comes on this earth with His greatness or not. Even a brilliant jewel if falls in dust will not radiate its luminescence. So Arjuna also feels the Lord might not have His greatness when born in this world along with us. We collect the metals for the Lord's idol and we make the idol, perform pooja, etc. Is He then in our command? Now Sri Krishna clarifies this and other points in the next 6th sloka:

ajo ’pi sann avyayatma
bhutanam isvaro ’pi san
prakritim svam adhisthaya
sambhavamy atma-mayaya

"Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all living entities, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form."

This sloka replies three doubts of Arjuna. We will first see the answer to his second question. Sri Krishna emphatically states that He is born with all the greatness He has wherever He is born. Just as fire reduces in the same way sacred materials or unwanted materials, the Lord is same whether He is in Vaikuntam or in this world. Ajopi sann = without being born, avvyayatmapi sann = without death, bhuthanam = in all bodies [of all living and non-living beings], isvara = as commander, api sann = remain. Isa means the art or science of commanding. Iswara means commander. We also at times command some to obey our orders, but that is temporary and subject to so many limitations. The Lord however, commands everyone without exception and at all places and and at all times. This answers the question whether He is born with the same powers and the reply confirms that He is born with full greatness. When Sri Krishna tells that He is not born, is He telling a lie? Arjuna knows where and when He was born and all the actions of Him uptil now. Then why He tells He is not born? The interpretation is that though He is born, He is not born like us or Arjuna, bound by past karma. In Sri Vishnu Sahasranama, Sri Narasimha is addressed as ajaha, as He came out of a pillar. One can take that as a birth or not, as unlike us He was born out of an inanimate object. Similarly He never dies as our deaths are after a karma is over. He departs when He feels He has to return to Vaikuntam. We have to infer that He is born with all His greatness in tact. Here He also tells that He is greater than achit [inanimate objects], baddha [ordinary beings like us], muktha [ those who have already reached Vaikuntam] and nithya [ the ever remaining and serving Garuda, Adisesha and the like]. Achit, that is the objects we see and use are all ever changing and get destroyed. God never changes and so He is greater than these. Baddha or atman like us are not changing, but according to the body it resides, atman have changing pleasures and sorrows. A muktha on the other hand enjoys unlimited pleasures but in the past he was also an atman. Nithya suris like Garuda had no past birth as atman, but they are subject to the commands of the Lord. We can thus see a graded greatness in all these but the Lord has the greatest powers and qualities which none of the others have.

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