Thursday, December 20, 2007


We sometimes feel that we did not live when Sri Rama or Sri Krishna were in this world. To compensate this, the Lord appears in various temples of great Kshetrams. Here, the Lord appears as Sri Vamana and Sri Trivikrama. In a pasuram in Thirunedunthandakam, Thirumangai Alwar tells about the Lord here. Alwar was having a pet parrot. He taught the bird the Lord's names. Whenever, Alwar was depressed and felt the separation of the Lord from him, the parrot would repeat the Lord's names and Alwar would get encouragement. He calls the Lord a mugil, which means in Tamil, cloud pregnant with rain. Such a cloud brings happiness to old and young alike. Similarly, the Alwar gets happiness at the sight of Sri Nambi. This si a very big temple and needs proper management and administration so that all pooja are performed properly. Foreseeing this, Swami Ramanuja, while on a visit to this temple, some 1000 years ago, appointed a Jeer [pontiff] to look after and administer. We are aware that Swami Ramanuja had Five Acharyas, viz. Periya Nambi, Thirumalai Nambi, Thirukoshtiyur Nambi, Thirumalaiandan and Azhwar Thiruvaranga Perumal Arayar. Of them, Periya Nambi was the senior most. Swami Ramanuja appointed one of the hereditary of Periya Nambi as the Jeer in charge of this temple. Today's [21st December 2007] lecture is from the Mutt of the Jeer in charge of this temple. Srimad vedamarga prathishtapanacharya ubhaya vedantacharya paramahamsa parivrachakarya Thirukkurungudi Perarulala Ramanuja Jeer is the full title. Present Jeer is the 49th in the lineage. Appropriately, in the 26th sloka we are to see today, the word yati, meaning sanyasi or jeer, occurs. The sloka:

yatinam yata-cetasam
abhito brahma-nirvanam
vartate viditatmanam

"Those who are free from anger and all material desires, who are self-realized, self-disciplined and conquering the mind find atman sukham very near."

Brahma = atman, nirvanam = happiness [ atman anubhavam of a Karma yogi], abhito = very near, vartate = is available. Person who has got atman sakshatkaram, finds atman sukham or happiness close by. Sri Krishna has shown the 6 steps in the slokas 20 to 25. Kama = lust, krodha = anger, vimuktanam = discarded, yatinam= yati or sanyasi or he who has abandoned any attachment to woldly desires and finds only God as all for him, cetas = mind, yata = directed only in the atman. Once he has abandoned all worldly desires, it does not mean the mind is blank. Mind is also an organ and it has to be deployed. So, after stopping his mind from all worldly desires, the mind is directed to view atman. Viditatmanam = therefore, conquering his mind, for him the atman anubhavam is just close by. Mind is powerful and it has no limits, unlike other external organs like hands or mouth. To conquer a mind, we require something which is superior. Atman is able to do that. Mind as such has no gyana or intellect. Mind is not eternal. Such limitations are not there for atman and so mind is conquered by atman, once mind is directed to concentrate on atman. With that he abandons kama and krodha, detached from worldly desires, mind concentrated on atman, he conquers mind and finds happiness of atman anubhavem at close by. The six steps mentoned in the slokas from20 to 25, are mentioned in the four words in this sloka- kama krodha vimukhtanam, yatinam, yata chetasam and viditatmanam. Steps mentioned are: 1] unaffected by likes and dislikes 2] unaffected by worldly desires 3] realizing the defects in the worldly pleasures 4] conquering kama and krodha before atman casts off the body 5] atman alone is regarded as bhogyam, bhogasthanam and bhogopakaranam and 6] seeks to help all living beings in their hour of need. Person whio has come on all these steps finds atman sukham or happiness at hand's reach.

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