Monday, January 28, 2008


MaNikkundra PerumaL kovil

The Lord in this temple is called Sri Manikunram [Sanskrit Mani Parvatham] and the Thayar is Sri Ambujavalli. Moolavar is a large idol in the seated posture. Right palm is abhaya hastam indicating protection and left arm is directing the devotees to His feet. The idols here require oiling periodically and is done in the Tamil month of Aadi [July-Aug]. In the month of Panguni [Mar -April], Theerthavari is done on Uthara star amidst the Brahmotsavam. [Sri Neelmega Perumal has theerthavari in Vaikasi Vishakam.] The temple is on the main road itself and so can not be missed. As already told, three demons were destroyed by the Lord taking three different forms and are gracing in three different temples, though all the three are counted as a single Divya Desam. Nammalwar in Thiruvaimozhi 5.3.1 says, 'masaru sodhi en seyyavai manikunrathai...'. This kshetram has been sung by Bhoodatalwar and Thirumangai Alwar. Though Nammalwar has not mentioned the Kshetram name, he has used the Lord's name Sri Manikunram. Compare this with the popular song pachchai ma malai pol meni of Thondaradipodi Alwar. Imagine emarald stone of the size of a mountain! How beautiful that sight will be? Manikunram can be interpreted as either a heap of pearls or a lamp on the top of a hill. In Thiruvaimozhi, the decade 5.3 is regarded as madal in Tamil grammar. In ancient days madal publishing was a custom followed by Tamils. If a male and a female fall in love, but the love is not approved by the parents and others, then as a last resort, one of the lovers, write about the other lover on palm leaf and publicize it by holding the palm leaf and riding a toy horse. It was believed that this could arouse reconsideration and a probability of acceptance. Here, Nammalwar in the guise of the sweetheart of the Lord, writes the madal. 'She' says that now nothing would prevent 'her' from writing the madal and publicizing 'her' love for the Lord. When her' friend queries whether 'her' Lover was so great, ParankusaNayaki replies in this pasuram. 'She' says that He is 'her' Manikunram with red lips. He has to illuminate like the lamp on hill, and drive the darkness of ignorance in all of us. Legendary Chintamani is said to grant us all our desires. The Lord here is also a large Chintamani wlling to grant us our desires. We may approach Him to bless us with the yoga disclosed in Chapter 6. Now we will see the 24th sloka:
sankalpa-prabhavan kamams
tyaktva sarvan asesatah
viniyamya samantatah
"One should abandon, without exception, all material desires born of mental speculation and thus control all the senses on all sides by the mind."
Slokas 24 and 25 tell us to control the mind to practice yoga. Sri Krishna tells in these two slokas, that we have to abandon mamakaram or our possessiveness. First we think what are not ours as ours, and so those are to be abandoned. The other is to relinquish even what we consider as ours. To think of what is not ours as ours is illegal. So, there is no scope for that and has to be abandoned. Next, we have to critically examine each of the items we consider as ours and decide our possession on them. We normally consider the present body of us as ours. But we now know that this body is to be departed after death and so can we really claim body as ours? Further, in the innumerous past births, the soul has resided in various bodies, now unknown. Are we to claim our possession on all of them? So, there is nothing which can be claimed as the possession of atman. But, yes, there is one which is atman's. It is the anandam or sukham or eternal bliss. All other worldly materials do not belong to atman and so all of them have to be discarded in toto. Possessiveness or a feeling of possession is an impediment to yoga. Attachment leads to anger and hatred, which induce scheming and therefore, loss of time. When we require time for our plans to acquire materials or protect our so called possessions, we would take away the time reserved for yoga. Because as of today, we regard yoga as our last priority and so we would not be able to practice yoga. That is why Sri Krishna has put great emphasis on discarding mamakaram. Sarvan = all, kaman = desires [on materialistic possession], aseshata =without a residue, tyaktva = abandon. Sri Krishna has categorised our desires for materialistic possession into two. One is what we perceive and the other is what we imagine with our mind. First is called sparsajam and the other is sankalpajam. Our normal desires we experience with our sense organs are sparsajam. Whereas the properties like possessing lands, bank deposits, etc., are all sankalpajam, as we mentally feel the pleasure of them. Both these desires are to be discarded. It may be easier to abandon perceptible desires. But it is more difficult to give up mental desires or sankalpajam. Indriya gramam = the collection of sense organs, samantata viniyamya= to be diverted from all materials, sankalpa prabhavan = mentally imagined. Sri Krishna tells that one should discard all desires on perceptible and imaginary objects, without a trace, and divert the mind on atman. So let us concentrate our mind on this Lord as a Hill and divert our minds from pebbles of cheap desire.

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