Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Partha, that is Arjuna is a prapanna - he who has surrendered to the Lord. He prayed the Lord to resolve his confusion. Arjuna was confused because of three wrong concepts. He imagined friendship at the wrong place. He wanted to show mercy to the wrong people. And, he thought Adharma as Dharma. These three confused him and so he sought asylum at the feet of Sri Krishna to resolve his confusion. Thus started the preaching of Gita. Sri Krishna at the beginning of Chapter 2, clarifies three important things. Achit - all the objects and our own bodies, chit - atman in all living beings and Paramatma or Iswara - Sri Krishna. Achit is not everlasting and it is bound to be destroyed. Chit is everlasting. Paramatma possesses all these achit and chit, commands them and He is the Master. So the three things that confused Arjuna were being clarified by the three entities. These three entities originate from the Thirumantram or Ashtakshara mantram - OM NAMO NARAYANAYA. It consists of three words. It is a treasure of meanings and explaining these are books of philosophy. Thirumangai Alwar in the pasuram 'kulam tharum' says the chanting of this mantra can get everything in life here and in the other worlds. The seed for this mantra is OM or also called Pranavam. This can be split into three letters or aksharams - A, U and M. This corresponds to the three words of Ashtaakshara mantra. A denotes Paramatma. M denotes jeevatman or atman and U identifies Sri MahaLakshmi. Vedas proclaim that one has to surrender to the Lord chanting Pranavam. So the Triads are very useful and significantly, we have come to this Kshetram to worship the Lord in three forms. Yes, we are in Tanjore or Thanjavur, where the Lord graces the devotees in three temples - all counted as one Divya Desam - situated within 200 metres radius. Thirumangai Alwar has sung all the three idols of Sri Neelamega Perumal, Sri Manikunra Perumal and Sri Veerasinga Perumal as a single Moorthy only. Long back to fecilitate pilgrims, the temples were brought near to each other. Sri Neelamega Perumal graces in the sitting pose. Right hand depicts protection -Abhaya hastham, and left hand is held welcoming the devotees - Ahvahana mudra. The idol is large wit Sri Sridevi and Sri Bhoodevi on the sides. Utsava Moorthy graces with the scepter [sengol in Tamil], indicating He is the King of the entire Universe. Today's [23rd January 2008] lecture is from the entrance of this temple. This Kshetram is also known as Garudapuri as Viswakarma and Kubera planned the place in Garuda shape. It is believed that Garuda is protecting this Kshetram. We will now proceed to see next sloka in Chapter 6. Slokas 20, 21, 22 and 23, are parts and have to be seen as a single sloka. He tells Arjuna that yoga is not to be considered as a difficult path, but has to be approached as a very valuable possession. Purushartam means thing desired by atman. Here purusha denotes atman and not male alone. Artham means desired one. If we desire for a fruit then fruit is the purushartam. Sri Krishna tells that yoga has to be considered as a purushartam. This is being explained in four slokas. Now the 20th sloka:
yatroparamate cittam
niruddham yoga-sevaya
yatra caivatmanatmanam
pasyann atmani tusyati
"Mind withdrawn from materials and involved on atman. Repeated practice of yoga, mind sees the atman and gets total enjoyment."
After withdrawing his mind from all worldly matters, he directs mind on atman and enjoys it. This can be considered as purushartam. What we desire has to be in agreement with shastras. In other words just because we desire a thing it can not become purushartam, unless it is legal and is bound by decency and will uplift our character. Yatra = where, uparamate = involved, [the answer for this will be in sloka 23 only], cittam = mind or thoughts, niruddham = removed from all senses like smell, taste, etc. Yoga sevaya = by constant practice of yoga, atmana = by mind, atmanam= self or soul, pasyann = viewed, atmani tusyati = enjoys and is satisfied with atman. All these days the person starting to practice yoga, was enjoying the material objects; but once he practices yoga, he finds the pleasure multifold and wants to continue and prolong. He finds all the various sense pleasures are all available with atman.

The temple is located near Thanjavur on the banks of Vennaaru.

Three temples together are considered a divya desam. All three temples are located close to each other. The temples are Thanjai Maamani Koil, Manikundram, Thanjaiali Nagar. The Utsavar's naamam in all three temples is Sriman Narayanan.

Thanjai Maamani Koil
The Moolavar is Neelamega Perumal seen in seated posture facing east.

Thaayaar - Sengamalavalli

Theertham - Amrutha Theertham

The Moolavar is Manikundra Perumal seen in seated posture facing east.

Thaayaar - Ambujavalli

Theertham - Srirama Theertham

Thanjaiali Nagar
The Moolavar is Narasimhan seen in seated posture facing east.

Thaayaar - Thanjai Nayagi

Theertham - Surya Pushkarini, Srirama Theertham

Thirumangaialwar - 953, 1090, 1576
Boodathalwar - 2251
Nammalwar - 3139

Total of 5 Paasurams.

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