Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Thirumangai Alwar praises Sri Rama in Thiruppullani Kshetram. He says, in the guise of lady lover of the Lord, that even if Sri Rama were to cheat 'her' with lies, 'she' would be after Him. If the Alwar had used that epithet for Sri Krsihna, one could understand. But, how the Alwar could describe that even if Sri Rama were to tell lies and cheat? We are at the sannidhi of Sri Pattabi Raman with Sri Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman. The Lord is also called Sri Deivachilayan, in Tamil and Sri Divyachapaha, in Sanskrit. That is He is the holder of the Divine Bow. In Srimad Ramayana, Sri Rama after coronation did not visit this place. So, how this idol is here? But the devotees prefer the Lord with Sri Thayar only and so even though in this place Sri Rama was not with Sri Sita as per Ramayana, devotees have got this Sri Pattabi Rama installed. In fact, though Sri Darbhasayana Perumal is gracing in accordance with the epic Ramayana, all festivals and processions are for Sri Pattabi Rama only. We will today [13th February 2008] see how Sri Krishna replies to Arjuna's doubts. Alwar in the guise of a lady finds 'her' mind gone after Sri Rama. When others accuse 'her' of audacity and unbecoming of a woman, 'she' says all these accusations do not affect 'her', as 'her' mind is no longer with 'her'. Even if Sri Rama were to cheat 'her' with lies, 'her' mind is after Him only. Here the actual interpretation is not that Alwar is giving an improper remark on Sri Rama, and Sri Rama is credited with the description of dwir na bhashate - never two words- that is He never changed His stand nor meant different things for different times and for different persons, He is satyavadhi - always speaks truth and only truth, such a Person, Who would never utter a lie, would never let the Alwar down, is the real meaning conveyed by the Alwar. Arjuna in slokas 33 and 34, describes the unsteady nature of mind, its quality of agitating the person and its run like a thunder storm after materialistic pleasures. In reply to this, are the slokas 35 and 36 and are called yoga sadhanam or implements/methods for yoga. If the methods are well cultivated in us then yoga would be possible. When we think of Sri Rama, what qualities come to our mind? His determination and firmness in His promise and steady behaviour. His standing with firm foot and the firmness with which He is holding the bow, shows His rock steady quality. There is not a second word from Him. Our mind also will be steady only if we grasp His feet. Now the 35th sloka:

sri-bhagavan uvaca
asamsayam maha-baho
mano durnigraham calam
abhyasena tu kaunteya
vairagyena ca grhyate

"Lord Sri Krishna said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment."

The Lord says: mahabaho = strong shouldered! Sri Krishna is indirectly ridiculing Arjuna. With his strong shoulders Arjuna could conquer Drona and Bheeshma. But those shoulders are useless to conquer his mind. Asamsayam = no doubt, calam = unsteady, mano = mind, durnigraham = can not be controlled. Sri Krishna replies not by refuting what Arjuna said but agreeing with what all he said about mind. This is called anuvadham, where the petitioner's arguments are answered by agreeing with what he said and then placing the counter arguments. By Sri Krishna agreeing, we can not conclude that one can not control the mind and so yoga is impossible. We have to wait what Sri Krishna further says. Tu = [ though the mind has all these unsteady quality and impedes yoga] but, abhyasena = by exercises, ca = and, vairagyena = by detachment, grhyate = [mind] is controlled. Mind is unsteady, is general rule; but with exception it could be controlled. Abhyasam means exercise or habituating. By diverting the mind from all other matters and training on atman is abhyasam. We have to repeatedly try to divert the mind from all other matters and direct it on atman. Vairagyam means detachment. So by first cutting off our desires on worldly things with determination and then by abhyasam, we direct the mind on atman. This is like training a wild animal. In training a wild animal, we at least know the dangers and so we carefully approach the animal and domesticate it. But in the case of mind, we do not even make any effort or have any intention to control. Unless we are convinced that allowing the mind to drift as it, is fraught with dangers, we will have no intention to control the mind. Knowing the disadvantages of materialistic pleasures like their transient nature, sufferings that accompany, etc., should cause viragyam or detachment with determination. Then it would be easier to train the mind on atman. Just like we throw instantly a drink that contains poison, the moment we come to know the presence of poison, we have to know the poisons in materialistic pleasures and cast them off with firmness. When our mind wanders we have to weigh in balance the pros and cons and if the matter is bad, immediately we have to divert the mind from them. Training the mind on atman also has to be practiced repeatedly. So disciplining the mind can not be termed impossible, but can be disciplined if we are armed with necessary implements or methods. Tireless efforts can be learnt from Anjaneya. Abhyasam can be learnt from the ceaseless services of Lakshmana. Steady behaviour can be seen in Sri Rama. And, mercy can be seen in Sri Sita. So all the Four in the Sri Pattabi Rama sannidhi should bless us in our endeavours. m_perumal_024

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