Sunday, January 6, 2008


In the Tamil month of Aippasi [Oct-Nov] in Moolam star, Vishadavaksikhamani Swami Manavala Mamunigal was born and that brought fame to that star. He is the last among the gems of our Guru parampara [lineage]. He is greatly respected in Vanamamalai and today's [7th January 2008] lecture is from his sannidhi. [Though the recording of this lecture for telecasting was done much earlier, appropriately today happens to be Moolam star and is Sri Hanumath Jayanthi]. His idol is captivating and can be seen seated on Adisesha peetam. Adisesha is the serpent bed and seat of Sriman Narayana, and was born as Swami Ramanuja. This happened in circa 1017. Swami Ramanuja lived for 120 years. Same Adisesha, and Swami Ramanuja, was born as Swami Manavala Mamunigal in circa 1371. He lived upto circa 1443 [72 years]. On his birthday, both Swami Ramanuja and Swami Manavala Mamunigal will grace the devotees together and that is a rare sight indeed. This can be viewed by devotees on Swami Ramanuja's birthday also in the month Chitra and star Thiruvadirai [Ardra]. Both were sanyasins [ascetics]. Swami Ponnadikkal Jeer was foremost disciple of Swami Manavala Mamunigal. Successors to Swami Ponnadikkal Jeer, have been the jeers of Vanamamalai mutt. We will see the 8th sloka:

kuta-stho vijitendriyah
yukta ity ucyate yogi

"A person is said to be established in self-realization and is called a yogi [or mystic] when he is fully satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge and realization. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. He sees everything—whether it be mud, stones or gold—as the same."

In this Chapter, the 7th, 8th and 9th slokas are introductory to the Yogabyasam or the procedure for doing yoga, which is going to be explained from 10th sloka onwards. In the last sloka [7th], Sri Krishna told that before a person starts practicing yoga, he will view equally the twins of cold and heat, happiness and sorrow and repute and disrepute. This is the first stage. Though the first step itself looks quite formidable, practice can make this to be achieved. Jnana = knowledge [of atman], vijnana = greater knowledge [of atman], trptatma = is satisfied with atman, vijitendriya = conquers or controls sense organs, kutastha = the Sanskrit word koota has many meanings, and we can take the meaning mountain peak. It means he is stable like a mountain unaffected by anything. So this person is deeply engrossed in enjoying his experience with his own atman, undisturbed by anything and remains victorious controlling the sense organs. Such a person is yukta = is qualified for atman sakshatkaram. That is a person who is satisfied with the knowledge and deeper understanding of atman, always mindful of the pure atman and who has conquered the sense organs, is eligible, ity ucyate yogi= for becoming a yogi and have atman sakshatkaram. What will be his characteristic? Kasta = mud, asma = stone, kanchana = gold, sama = [will appear] equal. When this attitude will come? Gold ornaments are worn to show one's prosperity and get respect from others. But this person already considers repute and contempt equal and so he has no need to show off by gold and get the respect from others. Sages like Sukhacharya, son of sage Vyasa, was a person in this category. He considered all equal. What are gyana and vigyana? One is called swaroopa viroopa dharma and the other is viroopith dharma viseshanam. That is one is knowing what is atman. The other is to understand the greatness of atman. By involving the mind in this constantly, he derives satisfaction. Atman is different from body, organs, mind and buddhi - this is mere gyana. Understanding further the greatness of atman and its magnificent qualities is vigyana. So, gyana and vigyana make him satisfied. Once his mind is involved in gyana and vigyana, all other sense organs have no work and so he remains in control of them. Koota also means anvil in blacksmith's shop. All articles are kept on it and hammered and deformed. But the anvil never loses its shape. Koota also means the foremost in a lineage. For example in the Vanamamalai parampara, Ponnadikkal Jeer is the Kootastha. His leader was Swami Manavala Mamunigal. All people remember the Kootastha. Similarly, here in this sloka, this person remains thoughtful of the pure atman and so is kootastha. Such a person is fit for atman sakshatkaram. Sage Sukhacharya was like that. He considered equally a young girl and trees alike. He saw only the atman in all and the physical bodies were never apparent to him.

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