Wednesday, December 12, 2007

BG5.20

We are at the river Dakshina Sindhu in Thirukkurungudi. Bathing ghat of this river is called Thirupparkadal. In the temple on the banks here, the Lord is called Thirupparkadal Nambi or Ksheerabdi Poorna Nathan in Sanskrit. Today's [13th December , 2007] lecture is from this temple. The Lord appears here as a dwarf, and so this place is called Thirukkurungudi. As told earlier, the Lord appears in Five places here and the Nambi in Thirupparkadal is the First. Nambi in Tamil means one full of [good] qualities. Corresponding female is called Nangai. The Lord is full of so many auspicious qualities that every devotee is totally absorbed in those qualities. Alwar says ' nambiyai, thenkurunkudi ninra achchempavala thigazhum thirumoorthiyai, umbar vanavar aadhiyen chothiyai, empirane! dn solli marappeno". We will see the meaning of this pasuram and how this coincides with the 20th sloka we are to see today. Alwar gets into the Nayika bhava or assumes himself to be the sweet heart of the Lord and sings this pasuram. She [or he] is in deep love with the Lord. So, she is blabbering about the Lord and is ridiculed by her friends and neighbours. They persuade her to forget the Lord and mount accusations against the Lord and this pasuram answers every accusation. First they accuse, He has no qualities. But Alwar says Nambiyai, that is He is full of auspicious qualities. Then they charge that He is residing in the far off Vaikuntam. Alwar replies, no, He is here in Then Kurunkudi, just a stone throw distance from Alwar Thirunagari. But He is not beautiful and apperars dark. Alwar says, no, He is so beautiful with lips resembling red corals and He, yes, though dark hued, is enchanting. His body is radiating brilliance. Rain bearing cloud is black, but brings happiness to all. Next, He is accused of having no illustrious status. After all He is a after the Alwar and so He must be an ordinary person. Alwar refutes this by saying, He is worshiped by the Nityasooris or the gods of Vaikuntam. What a pride it is to be honoured like that! Such a great Person lowering Himself comes to the Alwar. Finally, He is accused of doing no good to Alwar. Refuting this Alwar calls Him as Piran, which means one who is always ready to help and support. So, en solli marappeno, how can she forget Him?Without seeing Him even for a day one can not live - if this thought comes to anyone, then that one should be grateful to the Lord for having been blessed with such a quality! If we can always think of the Lord, then we will have no room for love or hatred for anything else in this world. This is the essence of this pasuram and this conveys the substance of 20th sloka:

na prahrsyet priyam prapya
nodvijet prapya capriyam
sthira-buddhir asammudho
brahma-vid brahmani sthitah

"A person who neither rejoices upon achieving something pleasant nor laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self-intelligent, who is unbewildered, and who knows atman and God, has stabilized mind in it."

Brahma vid = jeevatman who has attained sama darshan and so is like the Brahman or Paramatman, brahmani sthitha = always thinking of that brahman [here atman], sthira buddhi = unwavering knowledge [ that atman is eternal], asammudha= not thinking about the transient and destructible body. Person who has been guided by teachers about atman's qualities and who always thinks of the greatness of atman, attains atman sakshatkaram. What is the eminence of such a person? Na prahrsyet = not dancing or shouting over the roof out of happiness, priyam prapya = just because he has got something to his liking, no dvijet = nor brooding over or heart broken for, apriyam ca prapya = something he got not to his liking. Because he has had atman sakshatkaram, he is inert to anything happening be it for or against his liking. We can see that this attitude comes to us sometimes. A child likes toy, but after he has grown up same toy will not be liked by him or at least he will be indifferent to it. In cold places we may like warm clothings, but same clothes will be hated in warm places. Our likes changes with time and place. Because the mind has changed. Therefore, likes for worldly matters change. By involving our mind in atman and in God, we can avoid the so called depression, which we very frequently hear. We can steer our mind form transient and changing desires and concentarte on the eternal atman. Atman darshan will make us not to think of anything else.

3 comments:

G.Sampath said...

Answer

Dear Sowmya ,

Sampath Chitiya here from T.Nagar. I read your query , to your dad on the Translation of BG.5.16 ( 6-12-2007 ) .

With the permission of Sri.TGS , I thought I would pen you my opinion on the same. I am sure U would find the explanations quite helpful and meaningful . In my opinion , I feel you had not fully understood the ‘thathvartham’ of the sloka and hence your doubt.

One should understand the greatness of Atma. Atma is ‘ Gjana Mayan ’ ,
‘ Aaananda Mayan ’ and ‘ Nithya Mayan ’. Even though a ‘ sareeram ’is required for the Atma to carry out its ‘ poorva karmas ’, Atma can never be linked to ‘ sareeram ’. They are different . In this mundane world , we all think ‘sareeram ’and Atma are one and the same , basically due to our ‘avidhya’. Unless one understands the difference between the two by comparing its attributes , the ‘ Maya ’ would continue. Because of this and our poorva vasanas , we get our karmas and the associated ‘punya’and ‘paapa’ .

For Atma there are no friends or enemies or relations. All these are only for ‘sareeram ’. That is why the writings say that Atma is not connected to ‘kith’ and ‘kin’.
The notion that till about 7 years of age or till the upanayanam of a child the karma of parents will affect child’s life cannot be considered as correct , since each Atma is different and Atma has the ability to enter any sareeram at the birth of sareeram. The karma phalanx of the respective child , based on its poorva Karma alone can affect the life of that child.

Tondaradipodi Alwar in his Thirumalai ( paasuram 11) describes that all the jivas in this mundane world are ‘ karuvile thiruviladaar’ , meaning that they are not blessed souls by the Almighty , at the time of conception .

That is why , during pregency time , our forefathers used to tell , that the parents should always do karmas in line with the principles laid down in Vedas and Sastras , sothat the child in the womb get that Bhagavad blessings. The kith , kin and friends can wipe off their paapa and punya only with the help of Divya Dampathi Kataaksham , as in the case of Prahalad.

If your contention that parents’ karma have to affect the child’s life , ‘ Hiranya kasipu’s sins should have affected Prahlad. On the contrary Prahlad was blessed very well by the kataksham of Lord Nrisimha. Same applies to your second question as well.

I am sure U are now better placed to go ahead with other slokas.

Sarve jana Sukhino Bhavanthu.

G.Sampath.

Sowmya said...

Dear Chitiya,
Thanks for such clear explanation of the identity of Atman and its independence w.r.t shareeram. It was indeed interesting and enlightening. But what is still not convincing me is, its not the shareeram that does punyam or papam. Its the Atman that does it. When we are clear on that, then acquiring our kith and kin and sat-sangathi is related to the karma of atman. Saying this I would also like to add, Alwars like Periyazhwar and some other azhwar ( sorry for my ignorance in this subject) have said in their pasurams what "punyam" did you do Yashoda to have krishna as your son. Also one of the azhwars has personified himself as Devaki and has bemoaned his(her) fate of giving birth to the Supreme and not having enjoyed His leelas. Aren't these evidence enough that the deeds of Aatman do affect kith and kins? Also, if I am not mistaken, Hiranya Kashipu was a Dwarapalaka and so was Hiranyakshan. Then, it was his (atma's) karma that got him a son like Prahlada.
Similarly by the instruction of Prajapati Kardama, Devahuthi did tapasya for years to beget Kapila as her son.
Kindly elucidate on this matter more. My aim is not to argue or contradict what you or bhagavat Gita or what the elders have said. Its just a doubt that I want to clarify with my limited knowledge.
Thank you once again chitiya
Adiyen Dasi
Sowmya

Sowmya said...

Dear Chitiya,
Thanks for such clear explanation of the identity of Atman and its independence w.r.t shareeram. It was indeed interesting and enlightening. But what is still not convincing me is, its not the shareeram that does punyam or papam. Its the Atman that does it. When we are clear on that, then acquiring our kith and kin and sat-sangathi is related to the karma of atman. Saying this I would also like to add, Alwars like Periyazhwar and some other azhwar ( sorry for my ignorance in this subject) have said in their pasurams what "punyam" did you do Yashoda to have krishna as your son. Also one of the azhwars has personified himself as Devaki and has bemoaned his(her) fate of giving birth to the Supreme and not having enjoyed His leelas. Aren't these evidence enough that the deeds of Aatman do affect kith and kins? Also, if I am not mistaken, Hiranya Kashipu was a Dwarapalaka and so was Hiranyakshan. Then, it was his (atma's) karma that got him a son like Prahlada.
Similarly by the instruction of Prajapati Kardama, Devahuthi did tapasya for years to beget Kapila as her son.
Kindly elucidate on this matter more. My aim is not to argue or contradict what you or bhagavat Gita or what the elders have said. Its just a doubt that I want to clarify with my limited knowledge.
Thank you once again chitiya
Adiyen Dasi
Sowmya