Wednesday, December 12, 2007


We call the Almighty or Paramatman as Sri Vishnu and the followers or devotees are called Vaishnava. But, have we heard of calling Sri Vishnu Himself as Vaishnava? Yes, the Lord of Thirukkurungudi, from where today's [12th December,2007] lecture is made, is called Vaishnava Nambi. This Kshetram is at a distance from Nanguneri or Vanamamalai, which is on the route from Tirunelveli to Nagarkoil. This is also a Sri Varaha Kshetram. In Varaha purana, this place is mentioned in the story of Nampaduvan. First we will visit some of the important places around this place, but outside the temple. Here the Lord is adresseed as Sri Nambi and He is gracing in Five images - on top of the hill, in Thirupparkadal, in standing, sitting and reclining postures. How Sri Vishnu came to be called Vaishnava? The Lord is called Vaishnava Vamanan and Swami Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar says ' Ruchi janaka vibhava lavanyo vaishnava vamanathilay poornam'. The stream is starting from the hills where Sri MalaimelNinra Nambi is gracing and so the stream is called Nambiaaru. The spot from where today's lecture is there, the stream surrounds a circular rock, like a garland. This rock is aptly called Thiru Vattapparai. Once Swami Ramanuja was in Thiruvananthapuram [Trivandrum] in Kerala, to worship Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy. There the temple pooja were done by Namboodri Brahmins according to their customs. Swami Ramanuja wanted to change it. Namboodris prayed Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy to ensure that no change was done by Swami Ramanuja. The Lord's intention also was not to change and so instead of telling Swami Ramanuja not to make any changes, the Lord by a miracle shifted Swami Ramanuja after he went to sleep, from Thiruvananthapuram to Thirukkurungudi. When Swami Ramanuja as usual woke up in the next morning he found himself on this Thiru Vattapparai. He had a disciple with him called Swami Vaduka Nambi or Andhra Poorna, who used to assist his Acharya with all errands like bringing the Thirumann and Sri Choornam. Swami Ramanuja wondering how the place got changed from Thiruvananthapuram, called for Vaduka Nambi. Since the actual Vaduka Nambi was still at Thiruvananthapuram, searching for his Acharya, the Lord of this place appeared as [duplicate] Vaduka Nambi. This He did because the Lord was so pleased to see Swami Ramanuja spreading devotion and bhakti all over and He thought this was a good opportunity to serve Swami Ramanuja. Swami Ramanuja, not suspecting any play by the Lord, thought that his own disciple Vaduka Nambi was there and he took services of the 'Duplicate' Vaduka Nambi. To mark this incident, Swami Ramanuja and the Lord serving him as duplicate Vaduka Nambi are sculpted here and there is a Tulsi plant nearby. Swami Ramanuja, then wanted to worship the Lord in the temple and as he proceeded to the temple, the duplicate Vaduka Nambi also followed. But just before Swami Ramanuja entered the santus sanctorum or Garbha gruha, the duplicate Vaduka Nambi disappeared. Swami Ramanuja then realized what all had happened and so the Lord is called Sri Vaishnava Nambi, as He served Swami Ramanuja as a disciple.

Bhagavad ramanuja and vaduka nambi

Swami Ramanuja as a disciple.

Now we will see the 19th sloka:

ihaiva tair jitah sargo
yesham samye sthitam manah
nirdosam hi samam brahma
tasmad brahmani te sthitah

"Those whose minds are established in sameness and equanimity have already conquered the conditions of birth and death. They are flawless like Brahman, and thus they are already situated in Brahman."

The Lord explains further sama darshan [equal view]. Arjuna thought that it might take very long time for a Karma yogi to get atman sakshatkaram, when sama darshan would be felt. But Sri Krishna allays that fear and says in this sloka that atman sakshatkaram and sama darshan will be reached while taking efforts in Karma yoga itself. Yesham = those living being or atman, mana = mind, samye = in sama darshan, sthitham = get stabilized, tair = such persons or atman[ who have realized sama darshan], sarga = this created samsaram, ihaiva = in this effort in Karma yoga itself, jita = is won over. So, he, who has the determined mind to see all atman as one and the same, conquers samsaram while taking efforts to practice Karma yoga. All great Acharyas like Swami Shankaracharya, Swami Ramanuja or Swami Madhwacharya, have all lived in this same samsaram as we are in this Kali yug. We are afraid of this samsaram, but these graet persons conquered it here itself. It does not mean reaching Vaikuntam. But Sri Krishna tells ihaiva, which means that as the Karma yoga is practiced. Swan has an unique feature. It lives mostly in marsh, but its feet are so designed that they will never dip into the marsh and it will walk on the surface. Lotus leaf never gets wet in spite of being in water. These great persons also like these examples, conquered the samsaram from within. Brahma = here it means that atman which has attained atman sakshatkaram. It is nirdosha = blemishless. Which blemish? Related to body or prakruti or the beginningless karma are all blemishes. Here this Jeevatman is realizing that he is different from the body and that atman is an embodiment of Gyana and so all atman are equal. Therefore this atman is blemishless. Samam = in this status atman realizes equality of all atman. That is why Brahma here denotes that enlightened atman. Normally, Brahma denotes the Paramatman, because He has no blemish and for Him all are equal. Here this Jeevatman has attained that stage and so this atman could be called Brahman. Tasmad = therefore, Te = those persons, sthitham = stabilize in, Brahmani = Brahmam. This Karma yogi while practicing and taking efforts, realizes that all are same or has got sama darshan, and so this atman gets stabilized in equality and , therefore, in Brahman.

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