Today's [11th January 2008] lecture is from the sannidhi, where the Lord graces in a standing pose. Like the Lord in Srirangam, both in the Reclining pose and in Standing pose, the Lord is facing the South. Thayar, however, faces the East. This place is called Sathya Kshetram, the hill is Sathya giri and the Lord is called Sri SathyaNathan or Sri SathyaMurthy or Sri Meiyappan. There lived a sage Sathya, meditating on the Northern side of the Himalayas. Once the Lord appeared before him and he prayed for Moksham. The Lord agreed to grant him, but the sage had to wait and do penance at this Kshetram. Sage Sathya told while he was prepared to go and do as ordered, he found it very difficult to leave the surroundings he was accustomed to for so many years. Especially, he could never think of leaving behind the river Pushpa Bhadra, the rock Chitra sila and Bhadra vatam tree. The Lord replied that sage Sathya could go to this Kshetram and could also take along the river, rock and tree. Pleased the sage arrived here. The river was transformed into the Pushkarini and the rock is available nearby. The tree also is here. After sometime, again when the Lord appeared before the sage, and he prayed for Moksham and the Lord replied that he had to wait for some more time, but a temple had to be built on Vaikasi Pushyam. Even now the annual Brahmotsavam is celebrated for 10 days commencing on the Vaikasi Pushyam. All devotees can come and have a wonderful experience here. The sage was wondering how he, a mere sage, could build a temple. The Lord also told the sage that He would grant Moksham along with King Pururavas. Pururavas was a Pandyan King. The Lord wanted him to build the present temple here. So, once He took a wild boar form and with a big herd entered the town. King's srvants tried to catch them but the Boar dodged and finally, the King himself chased the Boar. The Boar led him to this place, where sage Sathya was maditating and repeatedly told the sage, 'Pruravas has come'. The Boar then disappeared. To mark this, there is a sannidhi of Sri Bhoo Varaha Perumal. Both the sage and the King prayed the Lord for Moksham. The Lord was ready to grant it at once to the sage but wanted the King to build the temple in three years and then he also would get Moksham. Thus this temple was built. In this sannidhi where the Lord is standing, unlike in all places there is no pedastal and the Lord'd feet are directly on the ground. We can see the King Pururavas and sage Sathya inside the garbagruha. On the Left of the Lord, Garuda is standing with folded hands. Garuda wanted to release his mother from slavery and so meditated here. We will now see the 12th sloka:
tatraikagram manah kritva
"The yogi should then sit on it very firmly and practice yoga to get released from sins, by controlling his mind, senses and activities and fixing the mind on one point."
Atma vishuddaye= to get released from papa and get Moksham, yogam yunjyad = he shall do yogam. Tatra = in that place [the place described in the last sloka, where a solitude place is chosen and firm seat is provided], ekagram mana kritva = concentrating his mind on a single aspect [ on the atman], yata = controlled, cittam = mind, indriya = sense organs [ or the organ of mind], upavisyasane= seated, perform the meditation. It is imperative that meditation is done seated. We may think why so many conditions like, neat place, firm seat, closed eyes, etc., are prescribed, and why not yoga is done wherever possible? True, yoga could be practiced in any place. But, for the beginners, these conditions are essential. A person wanting to master vocal music, requires assistance of metre and shruti, while learning. But after learning well, the person is able to sing properly even if these assistances are not there. Similarly, one has to practice yoga in silent and neat surroundings and gain experience steadily. By concentrating our mind and collecting our thought on a single entity of atman, we should perform yoga, to get released from the bonds of papa/ punya. Many persons find it difficult to sit, but it is important we sit and do the yoga. We should give exercise to all limbs and other parts so that we are able to sit and practice. It appears about 27,000 nerves are controlled if we sit and practice yoga. By doing ashtanga yoga, it is said that, one could attain ashta maha siddhi. Ashtanga yoga prescribes yamam, niyamam, asanam, pranayamam, pratyaharam, dyanam, dharana and samadhi. So asanam - seat or sitting is very important. Sitting erect may be difficult without a backrest for some. Swami Ramanuja has permitted use of backrest if necessary.