Friday, November 23, 2007


"Spurathsahasrara..." is a sloka in Sri Panchayuda stothram. Sri Sudarsana Chakra destroys all the miseries of devotees. Pleasant to look at and dircting the right path, he is called Sudarssana. The Lord graces with 16 types of weapons, and Sudarsana is the leader among them and so he is addressed as Hetiraja or Hetipungava. Today's [23rd November, 2007] lecture is from the Sri Chakkarathalwar sannidhi in the Sri Koodalazhagar temple in Madurai. Whenever we pray to him, we remember his dazzling brilliance, his magnificent power and his instant action on the mere thinking of the Lord. We never think that he is meditating on the Lord but think as the doer of the Lord's commands at all times. This tends to think that Sri Sudarsana also is following Karma yoga only. He is not doing the service to the Lord for atman sakshatkaram, but he serves the Lord for the service sake. Sri Sundararaja Perumal is holding Sri Sudarsana on His right hand. Thirumangai Alwar calls Him as Kovalar, which means cowherd. Perialwar also assuming himself to be Yasoda, imagines doing many services for the Child Cowherd, Sri Krishna, in his Perialwar Thirumozhi. He attributes ten verses for the bathing of the Child, ten more for the plays, ten more for the decorations, etc. Swami Koorathalwan imagines the Lord as a majestic river flowing. The two feet appear as two branches of the river. Knee caps appear as bubbles in the stream. Thighs appear as logs floating in the river. Waist appears as a reservoir. Navel appears as whirlpool. His broad chest appears as the plains where the stream falls from the top. This can be visualised in a Thirumanjanam in a realistic way. During this, He appears with wet clothes and Tulasi garland. After the bathing is over, He graces the devotees with full decorations. Both are captivating the devotees. While sages could imagine the Lord in meditation, ordinary people like us find it possible only by attending such Thirumanjanam and concentrate our minds. Barring a very few, we all find it easier to practice Karama yoga. Yogis and sages visualise the Lord after following difficult path of meditation done in solitary forests or amidst fire or under the water. We the commoners are able to get the same experience sitting at home comfortably or attending nearby temples. Thus there is no difference in the end result and both the sages and we get the same experience at the end. This is what Sri Krishna is telling Arjuna. Now the 5th sloka:

yat sankhyaih prapyate sthanam
tad yogair api gamyate
ekam sankhyam ca yogam ca
yah pasyati sa pasyati

"One who knows that the position reached by means of Gyana yoga can also be attained by devotional service[ Karma yoga], and who therefore sees Gyana yoga and devotional service to be on the same level, sees things as they are."

Yah pasyati = he, who sees like this, sa pasyati = he is the one who has seen the reality or truth. Sankhyam = gyana yoga, ca yogam = and Karma yoga, ekam = as one. This person alone has seen the truth. We have to repeat here that by stating one, they are not same in approach, but same in result. We should never think that Gyana yoga takes one to a higher place and Karma yoga takes to a lower place. Yat sthanam = that place[ atman sakshatkaram or atman darshan or experiencing atman], prapyate = attain, sankhyai = by Gyana yoga, tad = the same [place], gamyate = is attained, yogair api = even by Karma yoga. Sankhya does not mean the followers of Sankhya phillosophy but Gyana yoga. Sankhya means buddhi or intellect, and person following Gyana yoga uses his intellect only. Thus the destination is same for both Gyana yoga a nd Karma yoga. Person seeing this unity in result alone is considered as one who sees truth. It is like another example. Thousands of years ago in Dwapara yug, in Gokulam in the North, gopikas performed Katyayani vratham to have the experience of Sri Krishna. Sri Andal , hundreds of years back in down South, Srivilliputhur, imagining Herself to be a gopika performed the same Vratha by singing Thiruppavai. Now, we the commoners, get the same experience by merely chanting Thiruppavai in Margazhi. So, the end experience is same for the gopikas of Dwapara yug, for Sri Andal in Srivilliputhur hundreds of years back and for us in the present times. All of us are same -Sri Krishna devotees.

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