Today’s [8th February 2008] lecture is from the sannidhi of Sri Adi Jagannatha Perumal. This temple is in existence even before Sri Rama. He is in the seated pose, with right hand in abhaya hastham, assuring protection and the left hand is beckoning us to come to Him –ahvahana hastham. He graces along with His consorts. The vimanam [canopy] is called swastika vimanam; one reason being it is in the shape of swastika. It is also called swastika because those who worship here are assured swasti or mangalam or all auspicious things in life. Lord Jagannatha gave darshan to Sages Pullava, Kanva and Kalava. Sage Pullava mediated here and after a long time, the Lord appeared as an Aswatta tree [peepal tree]. At the request of the sage, the Lord took the present form and is gracing. Utsava Moorthy is in the standing pose and near Him is Sri Padmasani Thayar. As told earlier, there are three garbagruhas in this temple and the Lord graces in three forms in the three sannidhis. Of these Sri Adi Jagannatha sannidhi is the oldest. There was a sage Devala who used to meditate after a bath in the pond. Once seven damsels from heaven were bathing in this pond with scanty dress, despite the presence of the sage. Sage was infuriated and he cursed all of them. When the damsels prayed for pardon, the sage asked them to worship the Lord here daily and one day Sri Rama would be visiting when their curse would vanish. Thirumangai Alwar in the nayaki bhava [in the guise of a woman] says that the Lord here has stolen away her body, qualities and color. We will now see the yogi in the 4th stage. Sloka 32:
samam pasyati yo ’rjuna
sukham va yadi va duhkham
sa yogi paramo matah
"He is a perfect yogi who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, in both their happiness and their distress, O Arjuna!"
He is the best among all yogis – better than yogis described in slokas 29, 30 and 31. Ya = he who, atma oupamyeva = considers equal to him, sarvatra = all, pasyati = sees. Sukham va yati va dukham = happiness or sorrow. He sees all equal to him as by yoga he has erased all karma and consequent papa and punya; mind in a serene state, is with gyana fully blossomed. So he thinks he and all others are equal. With this he sees all in the same state whether affected by sorrow or by happiness. This requires some explanation. If A has a happy event in his family, another unconnected person B is not going to rejoice over it. Because A and B are different persons and not connected. Similarly the happiness or sorrow of B is not going to affect A. This is the nature in this world. But if A is in mukta atman swaroopam, where he sees all as equal to him, A should consider the feelings of everybody as his. So A should rejoice for a happy event in the family of B or anyone else for that matter. A should also brood over the sad things in the family of B and others. This is how great people would feel at hearing news good or bad of others. But what Sri Krishna is telling is a stage beyond this also. In the state mentioned when A feels for all the events of others, different from him, there are some disadvantages, though to attain that level is not easy. Even as ordinary persons, we rejoice only for happy events in our own limited circle of our family and friends and we find it hard to allot time for yoga and devote our mind on atman and Paramatman. With difficulty we allot half an hour or so for such duties. In such a case, if we are going to rejoice over the happenings in all persons’ families, then we will have no time for yoga or for Paramatman. Sri Krishna will not preach this, as He wants everyone to get detached from the world and look at atman and Paramatman. What Sri Krishna wants to tell here is that just as for ordinary persons, events happening in others’ families do not affect, for this yogi also, events happening in his own family should not affect him. This applies to both happy and sad events. The advantage in this is that when any such events, happy or sad, occur in one’s family, one takes it in the normal stride. So, one is able to still devote time for atman. We see today that many children go to USA or UK and settle there. They come once in two or three years. In such families, the parents would have been devoting some time for religious and other good activities. But when their children visit for two or three weeks, all the religious activities come to a stop and they do not find even that small time for these activities. This should be avoided. It does not mean we have to ask them not to visit, but we do not skip these duties. Similarly, we cannot allot time for others’ happy or sad events and skip our duties. Just as a happy event in one’s family will not affect the neighbor, one should not be affected by one’s own family events. He sees all as equal. His circle has expanded from the small family to entire society and world. He considers all as the body of Paramatman and is unaffected by happiness or sorrow in his family or in anyone else family. To achieve this is difficult. Sage Vyasa grieved when his son Sukha left him. Even great Maharishis like Vasishta and Viswamitra could not overcome these. Drona, at the hearing that his son Aswattama was killed, became so sad that he threw away his weapons and cried in the battlefield. These are not ordinary persons and so Sri Krishna praises the yogi mentioned in this sloka as param = supreme. We can at least try for the level in sloka 29.