Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Nammalwar says in the verse, Thirumaliruncholai malai ennen, Thirumal en nenju niraya pugundan..', that he casually mentioned the name Thirumaliruncholai malai. He listed various hills' names and in that this name also was mentioned without any reverence for the hill by Alwar, but even then the Lord has occupied his entire mind and heart. The Lord is ready to bless us even for a mere mention of His abode, Thirumaliruncholai hills. Our trip to this place can not be complete without mentioning Chitra Pournami festival. Today's [5th December, 2007] lecture is from the bed room [ palli arai] of the Lord situated behind the main sannidhi. It has pillars and cot made of Ivory. In the same corridor we can see the sannidhi of Sri Narasimha, in ugra [ anger] mood. He is bathed [ as also Sri Sundarabahu Perumal] with the water procured from Noopura Ganga. In another corner we can see the sannidhi of Sri Sudarsana. Normally, in any temple in Sri Sudarsana Alwar sannidhi, Sri Sudarsana will be on one side and Sri [Yoga] Narasimha on the other side. But here it is unique. On the same side at the top Sri Narasimha, destroying Hiranya Kasipu , is there. In the middle is Sri Sudarsana and at the bottom, Sri Bhoovaraha Swamy is there. It is a three-in-one sight! With such great features, the Lord of this temple goes to Madurai on Chitra Pournami and returns after seven days. In Thirukkannapuram , the Lord leaves the temple for festival and returns after two or three days. Similarly, in Thirukkoyilur, the Lord is away from the temple for more than seven days. What is the reason for this festival here? Sruthapa was a sage doing penance in the forests. Once when sage Durvasa came and Sruthapa did not notice, Durvasa cursed him to become a frog [mandookam]. Durvasa told that he could redeem his old form only by Sri Kallazhagar's bleesings on the river Vegavathi [ another name of Vaigai flowing in Madurai]. In the ten day festival, the first three days are spent in the hills itself. Then He travels down the hills on palanquin staying for a day in various places en route. On the last day, He rests in the Sri Koodalzhagar Perumal koil in Tallakulam. Then in the early morning He, riding on a horse vahanam, gets into Vaigai river. During that time the entire city of Madurai will wear a festive appearance and all devotees will drench each other with water sprinklers. Something like Holi in North India. After getting into the river He blesses sage Sruthapa, who gains his old form. Some hundreds of years back this festival was done in another place called Thenur. But the Nayaks who ruled Madurai, changed the venue to Madurai and it continues now also. We will now see 14th sloka of Chapter 5. We have seen that atman is not bound by karma and atman is away from such karma. But due to the very ancient karma, without a beginning, the atman gets a body and that the body does all karma. Now the 14th sloka:

na kartrtvam na karmani
lokasya srjati prabhuh
na karma-phala-samyogam
svabhavas tu pravartate

"The embodied spirit, master of the city of his body, does not create activities, nor does he induce people to act, nor does he create the fruits of action. All this is enacted by the modes of material nature."

He says that kartrutvam and karmas in this world, are not created by any atman devoid of body. Atman does not create the reward for such karma. All these are happening because of a beginningless ancient habit. Prabhu = jeevatma [ without a body atman is free and is not answerable to anyone, except God. Also, in the pure form atman is equal to God in gyana and happiness and so atman can be addressed as lord], such an atman free from all karma, lokasya = in this world, na kartrutvam = not the effort required to do an action, na karmani = nor the actions themselves, srijati = are created [by the atman]. A pure and bodyless atman never induces any effort nor is the cause of any work in this world. But the association with a body makes the body to take efforts are cause actions. So all these are not the nature of atman. Karma = action, phala = reward or result of the action,na samyogam = relationship also is not created. So atman does not create the effort, action and the result thereof. But we are doing all actions. One does puthrakamesti yagam and one is rewarded with children, and like this other actions. If atman is not doing all these , then who is doing these? Sri Krishna tells, swabhavas = habit, pravartate = does. Swabhavam means the inevitable qualities we have acquired due to the contact with this prakruti or world. Atman is begining less and it has been residing in various bodies in various births. At one time the atman gets a body of an elephant, then in another birth it gets human body, another time a tree body, etc. Due to such very old habit, atman assumes every time it to be the body it is residing. Atman thinks it is elephant or man or tree. It is like an iron rod kept in burning fire for long time. Then, the iron rod looks exactly like the fire, though it is not fire. Because of the body the efforts, actions and results are there. Once the atman realizes that it is not the body, then the effort , the action and the result are not of atman's creations.


uhgar said...

I did not understand this lecture ...

TG Saranathan said...

I saw your comments today only and so my reply is delayed and I regret for the delay.
Though I am not expert to advise on the meaning of this sloka, I will try to explain what I understood. Atman is not a kartha and only body does all actions. An independent atman does not have to do any karma.But once it resides in a body, it has to do karma pertaining to that body. In that context, the examples of lion and elephane were given. An independent atman has no friends,no enemies and no relatives. When it resides in a body it assumes the friendship, enmity or relationship. Atman thinks it is the body, because the atman has had so many births and so the vasana or traces linger and it thinks of others are friends or enemies. If one realizes atman is not body, then he will not hate or like anyone and for him all are equal. With this realization, atman will know all actions are body oriented and atman has nothing to do with that. This way atman will detach from the activities though the activities are done by the body.
I hope I have succeeded in attempting to clear the doubt.