Tuesday, December 18, 2007


In this temple, as mentioned earlier, the Lord blesses the devotees in three forms -Sri Ninra Nambi, Sri Irundha Nambi and Sri Kidandha Nambi. Sri Ninra Nambi is on the South corner of the temple. Sri Irundha Nambi is to the North and further North is Sri Kidandha Nambi. So, unlike in most temples, where we can have the pleasure of viewing one of the postures only, in this temple one can have a feast of all the three postures of the Lord. Today's [19th December 2007] lecture is from the middle sannidhi -Sri Irundha Nambi, also called Sri Veetrirundha Nambi. The Lord represents Sri ParaVasudeva of Vaikuntam. Near this sannidhi, is the idol of Maha Bali, humbly bowing to the Lord, Who is appearing as Sri Trivikrama with the Left foot raised to measure the upper worlds and the Right foot on this earth and the lower worlds. The Lord of this sannidhi appeared before lord Shiva.Thirumangai Alwar in his Periyathirumozhi, tells that lord Shiva, in tiger skin attire and wearing rudraksha garland worshiped this Lord and got his sins washed off. That is why lord Shiva is given importance in this temple and there is a separate sannidhi of lord Shiva. It is one of the attempts to encourage Vaishnava - Shaiva unity, so that sanathana dharma flourishes. We will see the 24th sloka:

yo ’ntah-sukho ’ntar-aramas
tathantar-jyotir eva yah
sa yogi brahma-nirvanam
brahma-bhuto ’dhigacchati

"One whose happiness is within, who is active and rejoices within, and whose aim is inward is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme."

This details the Fifth stage of the one who has attained atman sakshatkaram. We earlier saw the four stages, viz: 1) likes and dislikes unaffect [sloka 20], 2) external matters do not affect [sloka 21], 3) defects of the materialistic pleasures are realized [sloka 22] and 4) conquers kama and krodha before death. Now the fifth stage is mentioned for which we have to see how the Alwars lived. In the pasuram Unnum soru, parugum neer, thinnum vetrilai ellam kannan, Nammalwar says that for him Sri Krishna is all. This represents Dharaka, Poshaka and Bhogya in our activities. In food, water is most essential to keep alive and so it is called Dharaka. Rice is needed for body development and growth and so it is Poshaka. We take Vetrilai [pan in Hindi or thamboolam in Sanskrit] purely for pleasure and so it is Bhogya. We can classify every item in this world in these three groups. For Nammalwar and other Alwars, Sri Krishna was representing all the three -Dharaka, Poshaka and Bhogya. This is the stage mentioned here. Ya = one, antah sukha = who considers atman as object of desire, just as we consider betel or sandal paste as objects of pleasure, antar arama = considers atman as a garden or the place where the objects of desire grow or available, tatha = and, antar jyoti = considers atman as light for enjoying or as tools for such enjoyment. These three are called bhogyam [objects which give us pleasure], bhogastanam [the place where these objects are available or grown] and bhogopakarana [the facilities needed to enjoy the object in the place it is available]. As an example if one wants to enjoy eating mango fruit, he has to have the mango and it is available in the garden and to pluck it he needs light. Here mango is bhogyam, garden is bhogasthanam and daylight is bhogopakarana. We need all these three in all our activities. Sri Krishna tells that for the person attained atman sakshatkaram, all these three are same- atman [three-in-one]. Excepting Paramatma and atman, no other object represents all the three. In the example, mango is to be eaten but we have to go to garden and garden can not be eaten,. Similarly, light is needed to pluck the mango but light can not be eaten to enjoy. On the other hand, if we think of our organs as bhogasthana, then we will be dragged by them in their direction. Sa yogi = such a person practicing Karma yoga, brahma bhuta = reaches [the high level of atman, when it is called] brahman, that is he becomes like Brahman in happiness and Gyana, brahma nirvanam = pleasure of atman [atmanubhavam], adigacchati = acquires. So, the person who sees atman as bhogyam, bhogasthanam and bhogopakaranam, reaches the high level of atman [brahman] and gets the pleasre of atmanubhavam. How to enjoy atman? Instead of asking, we have to make a beginning. We can keep half an hour for this and try, taking tips from elders and experts. We can sit in our pooja room and meditating on our favourite image of the Lord, we can definitely concentrate on the atman. We have to practice whatever good things we have heard.

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