Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Today's [29th November, 2007] lecture is from the sannidhis of Swami Ramanuja and Swami Koorathalwar in Sri Sundararaja Perumal koil in Thirumaliruncholai. Both of them are connected with this Kshetram. Swami Ramanuja came to this temple and did an important service to Sri Andal. Swami Koorathalwar was born and brought up in a village Kooram in between Kanchipuram ana d Arakkonam. Learning the greatness of Swami Ramanuja, he relinquished all his property and became Swami Ramanuja's disciple and all of them settled in Srirangam. Swami Ramanuja, unable to bear the problems from the king, left Srirangam and stayed in Melkote / Thirunarayanapurm in the West [Karnataka]. Swami Koorathalwar too left Srirangam and came to Thirumaliruncholai, in the South. He expressed his seamless love for God in Five sthothras, known as Panchsthavam. He composed Sri Sundarabahu sthavam, in praise of the Lord here and is being recited daily. As a mark of His care for Swami Koorathalwar, the Lord arrives here every Thai month Hastham star - the birth day of Swami Koorathalwar- and receives all the temple honours. The Lord here has handsome shoulders and that is why he is called Sundara [Handsome] Bahu [ shoulder]. Alwars imagine Him to be the desire-fulfilling Karpaga tree and the shoulders are the branches. Moolavar is called Sri Paramaswamy- that is there is none superior to Him. He and the Utsavar, grace the devotees with Five weapons - Conch, Discus, Mace, Sword and Bow. Discus in the right hand of the Moolavar, is in the Prayoga pattern- that is ready to fly and destroy the enemies and protect the devotees.
The right lower hand is held to direct the devotees to fall at His feet. While, the right lower arm of the Utsavar is in the Dhaana mudra, ever granting all the desires of the devotees. Swami Koorathalwar says that whatever the Lord does is all pleasant to him, just like we admire a child whatever it does. The jaws of the Lord here are slightly fattened, according to Swami Koorathalwar. He thinks this is due to mother Yasoda frequently holding the Lord's jaws and fondling Him. Such a captivating image if remains in our minds, then the mind will never drift away. This idea is brought in the 10th sloka:

brahmany adhaya karmani
sangam tyaktva karoti yah
lipyate na sa papena
padma-patram ivambhasa

"One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water."

He is not touched by papa. What has he to do? Karmani = all his actions, brahmany = sense organs [which are the effect of prakruti. Brahmam means very large moola prakruti, which slowly transforms into our organs], adhaya = are doing, sangam tyaktva = not desiring for any inferior and cheap rewards, karoti = is doing his karma. So one has to do his rightful duty. It has to be done not with the presumption that 'I-am-doing'. It should be done not for any low and cheap rewards. Sa = such a Karma yogi, na lipyate = is untouched or unaffected, papena = by papa, just like padma patram = lotus leaf, ambhasa = by water [unaffected or does not become wet]. Lotus plant is grown in plenty of water , still any amount of water does not wet the leaves.Similarly, a Karma yogi, in spite of living in this world and doing all the activities, is unaffected by them and he is free from all the papas arising out of the actions. Why this sloka has come up? In the last sloka, He listed 13 activities and told that all these are done by the respective agents like organs or vayu, and this concept makes the person to practice Karma yoga properly. Arjuna gets three doubts. Assuming one does with the concept that he is not responsible for all actions, but if he does a karma for seeking wealth or child, will he not get what he desired for? Can he get ataman sakshatkaram? What is the use of such a karma? That is one can assume that one is not doing a karma but one can aspire for various results. Second doubt is, what benefit will accrue by abandoning the feeling that 'I-am-not-doing', and at te same time time doing all the activities? That is mere thought that one is not doing, will it get any benefit? Thirdly, we have to live in this world and so all its advantage and disadvantages have to be felt by us. How, then we can escape these? All these are replied in thhis sloka. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna not to desire for lower rewards. He is not telling not to have any desire for results but keep our goal at a high pedastal. This answers the first doubt. This thought that 'I-am-doing', if abaandoned, then the stigma of sins will ot adhere to him. So this is the reward for doing karma in that way. This is the answer for the second doubt. By giving the example of the Lotus leaf, He answers the third doubt also. Amidst the world with all sinful actions, his action will never cause any papa unto him, like water never wets a lotus leaf.

No comments: