Sri Krishna has extracted Gita as milk from Upanishads, for us to drink. We have been enjoying this milk by understanding one sloka everyday. Normally, milk is not administered as medicine for any sickness;but here, Gita as milk, cures our disease of samsaram and this medicine is sweet too. Thirumangai Alwar composed ten pasurams on this Kshertram, Thirukkoodalur and in conclusion says, by chanting these ten hymns, all sins will be washed away. Swami Periavacnan Pillai, who wrote commentary for these hymns says that by drinking milk sickness will be cured. Milk is sweet, while normally medicines are bitter. To cure the disease of sins, by reading these pasurams, which are sweet like milk, one gets cured. One need not undertake the bitter and difficult repentance rites to remove the effects of sins. Alwar says that the Lord here protected the entire Universe with huge oceans, mountains and others, in His stomach, during pralayam, the great deluge. After the pralayam was over, He ejected all the Universe from His stomach and thus He protects all. Aptly, He is called Sri Jagatrakshaka. The temple here was in a dilapidated condition some five years back and has been renovated to some extent. Not many pilgrims visit this temple and so income is insufficient. But all should make it a point to visit and get the blessings of the Lord. H.H. Sriman Thridhandi Jeer took interest to renovate this temple in 2003. We should all visit this temple in great numbers. We will now see the 44th sloka, second half:
jijnasur api yogasya
"Such an inquisitive eagerness to practice yoga would cross the world."
Sri Krishna has been answering Arjuna's query. Earlier we saw two categories of persons: 1. Person who has started yoga but discontinued. 2. Person who has considerable experience in yoga and is about to get atman sakshatkaram, when he discontinues. In this part of sloka 44, Sri Krishna tells of a third type of person. It is like a student writing an exam. In the beginning he was told that he would be given marks only if he had arrived at answer. Then, he was told that his approach in the question would be valued, even if he had not arrived at the end result. Now, he is told that even a desire to attempt the problem would be valued. How happy the students would be?! In sloka 41, Sri Krishna told that if a person discontinues yoga in the initial stage itself, he is made to be born again in such a family that he could start the yoga again from the initial stage where he discontinued. In sloka 42, He talked of another person who discontinued yoga at a very advanced stage. He also, after enjoying the inferior pleasures he desired, is made to be reborn in a family of yogis and others who would induce him to restart the yoga from the advanced stage, where he discontinued in his earlier birth. In sloka 43 and part of sloka 44, He clarified that this type of resuming yoga from the stage discontinued in the earlier birth was possible with His blessings. Now, He says that a person need not have gone to the advanced stage in yoga nor he need to have started yoga. Yogasya = about yoga, jignasur api = even a desire [ to practice], shabda brahmam = this world, ativartate = is crossed. To get atman sakshatkaram one should have practiced yoga. For this the yoga sadhanam [implements] vairagyam and abhyasam are needed. He should know the upaya or method of Karma yoga. To start Karma yoga, one should have atman gyana or knowledge. Sri Krishna relaxes this rule to such an extent to induce people to practice yoga. Here is a person, who has not even attempted to practice yoga, but after hearing the greatness of yoga, has a mere desire to practice. That is all. Such a person also is able to cross this samsaram of this world. Here, in Tatparya Chandrika, Swami Vedanta Desika says that mere knowledge about yoga is not enough to cross this samsaram. But, what is meant is a desire to practice yoga. Shabda means word. Everything in this Universe has a name and we call by that to identify. So every word describes about the Universe and so shabda indicates Universe. Brahmam means very large. So shabda brahmam means the entire Universe and everything contained in that. By crossing this means, he gets atman sakshatkaram and so he is not reborn again. Just as in the cases of the other two types of persons, where they would be reborn in such a family to resume the yoga from where they had discontinued, here also, this person would be in a family to start yoga and achieve the results. So, any person, discontinuing yoga anywhere from the concept stage to almost final stage, is assured of atman sakshatkaram. All these replies have emanated from the query of Arjuna. He wanted to know what was the fate of a person, who after abandoning all desires for inferior pleasures, started yoga but discontinued? Will he be shattered and be lost like the piece of cloud lost in wind? Sri Krishna assures that anyone who starts such auspicious [kalyana] actions like yoga would never lose anything. He would accomplish yoga he had desired to practice. This is called yoga siddhi. We should thank Sri Jagatrakshaka Perumal and Sri Padmasani Thayar, and the devotees who are serving here, for exposition of this portion of Gita. We should enthuse the devotees of this Kshetram by visiting this temple in large numbers.