Monday, December 31, 2007


Vanamamalai Kshetram is one of the Swayamvaktha Kshetram [self originated]. In the passage of time, this place was covered by earth and was not visible. The Lord also was beneath the ground. Most land of the place was part of Chetru Thamarai kulam. Long ago there was a King Kari of Travancore kingdom. Once, in his dreams, the Lord appeared and ordered him to recover Him from the ground and to construct a temple. The King obeyed and started searching this place. He found at one place in the Chetru Thamarai Kulam, series of ants were marching and the King followed their path. The ants were entering an anthill and the King ordered the laborers to dig the anthill and they did with crowbars. In the process, one crowbar hit the Idol below slightly and blood started oozing. The King was very much perturbed at this and he stopped use of crowbars and with his own hands he started excavating the place. He found the Idol of the Lord and brought the Idol out. The King, prostrating to the Lord, prayed for excuse as he was responsible for the injury done and was prepared to undergo punishment for the same. The Lord appreciating King’s sincerity told that such things happened when major works were undertaken and wanted the King to bring some oil and apply it on the wound to heal. From that day, the Lord is massaged with oil daily. The oil is then collected and poured into the well in the temple and so it is called oil well, from where today’s [31st December 2007] lecture is made. This oil is recommended for curing many skin problems. This temple is managed by Vanamamalai mutt and the Jeer is administering all activities. Apart from this temple, the Mutt also is in charge of a Shiva and an Amman temples. This is yet another instance of Vaishnava – Shaiva unity. Oil massage is done in these temples also. We will now see the 3rd sloka of Chapter 6:

aruruksor muner yogam
karma karanam ucyate
yogarudhasya tasyaiva
samah karanam ucyate

"For one aspiring to climb to reach atman darshan, karma yoga is the cause. While for the one already achieved, abandoning climbing in Karma yoga is the cause ."

Sri Krishna explains two reasons here. In the last sloka, He told that Gyana was part of Karma yoga. Aruruksor = the one who is climbing up [in the Karma yoga for atman sakshatkaram], mune = for such an intellect [as he is thinking always of atman; muni is manana seela: in Sanskrit], karma yogam = Karma yoga, karana ucyate = becomes the cause. That is for attaining atman sakshatkaram, Karma yoga is to be practiced incessantly and so it becomes the cause to achieve. Muni denotes that the person is always thinking of atman and karma karane insists that Karma yoga has to be practiced continuously. To avoid any confusion that Gyana yoga is the step for atman sakshatkaram, Sri Krishna clearly tells that Karma yoga itself is the cause for achieving atman sakshatkaram. Because the person is addressed as muni as he is constantly thinking of atman and its superior qualities and this thought is part of the Karma he is doing. Samah = abandoning [normally this word would convey equalizing, but here it is to mean abandoning karma yoga]. Who can abandon Karma yoga? Yogarudhasya = he who has achieved the objective of Karma yoga, that is atman sakshatkaram, tasyasya = such a person, karanam ucyate = is considered as a cause. Person who has not got atman sakshatkaram has to perform Karma yoga and so it becomes the cause to get the result. But for a person who has already got atman sakshatkaram, practicing Karma yoga is not necessary. After reaching the top of a place, we do not need the ladder, which helped us to reach the top. But normally, we are all told that we should not discard the ladder after reaching the top. But Sri Krishna has laid the emphasis on the need for Karma yoga to attain atman sakshatkaram. Abandoning Karma yoga after achieving the result is not the main intention of the Lord. Yet another interpretation also is there. When we practice Karma yoga, we do pooja, chant His names, visit temples, help the needy and do our prescribed duties. Without the feeling that ‘I-am-doing’ and with no desire for cheap results all these activities become part of Karma yoga. Slowly we ascend in this and at one stage we attain atman sakshatkaram. That is we now get the sama darshan or view all as same. Great people like Prahlada, Dhruva, Vidhura and Akrura realized this stage. Even after attaining atman sakshatkaram, all these great persons never abandoned their legitimate Karma. What Sri Krishna has intended here is that after attaining atman sakshatkaram, the person continues with his Karma yoga but without any objective of getting atman sakshatkaram, as he has already got it. In fact, Karma yoga will be more pleasant to perform now. We study to get good scores in the exam and get a good job. After getting the job, we can still study the subjects of our liking, just for the pleasure of it. Our understanding of the subject will be better. So, there is no bar for practicing Karma yoga after getting atman sakshatkaram, but to get it Karma yoga is a must.

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