Thursday, February 28, 2008


The Lord of Kapisthalam is known as Sri Gajendra Varadha. Legend says Gajendra Moksham took place somewhere in the North near Trikoota hills. But Hanuman wanted the Gajendra Moksham incident to reenacted here. Actual Gajendta Moksham took place in Krutha yug and Hanuman was in Thretha yug. Even after Sri Rama left for His abode Vaikuntam, and even now, Hanuman is in this world only. He is constantly chanting the name of Sri Rama. Such an Anjaneya thought that the Lord, Who removed the sufferings of Sri Sita, also saved the elephant Gajendra, should give a darshan of the Lord as He appeared to Gajendra. Hanuman came here and performed thapas- meditation- to fulfill his desire. Here we can see Hanuman praying and near him is the Lord in the standing pose. Also we can see the Gajendra Moksha episode in idol form. The Lord hurriedly came flying on Garuda, and saved the elephant from the clutches of the crocodile. Even children know this story. Once Huhu, a gandharva - celestial being- was cursed by a sage to be born as a crocodile. There was a King Indradyumna, who was practicing yoga. One day when sage Durvasa came, he did not notice and Durvasa got angry at the indifference of the King. He cursed the King to be born as an elephant. This elephant - Gajendra- came near the pond where the crocodile was living. The elephant entered the pond to pluck a lotus flower and offer it to the Lord. Crocodile caught the elephant's leg with its teeth and elephant could not escape. Since as King Indradyumna, he was practicing yoga and worshiping the Lord, that character continued in this birth, as elephant, also and so he wanted to worship the Lord. That is why it is customary to denote Gajendra also as Alwar. Similarly, Prahalada and Vibheeshana also are addressed as Alwars. From this it is clear that we are praised for our bhakti or devotion only, and our birth status is immaterial. This also proves what we have been seeing in Gita, that even if the yoga is discontinued, the person gets another noble birth to pursue his yoga and reach destination. Indradymna also continues his bhakti as an elephant. When the crocodile tried to drag the elephant into the water, elephant tried its strength to escape, but in vain. After a long time when the elephant realized it was losing, it cried for help of the Lord. It cried 'akila karanaya, adbuta karanaya, nishkaranaya' - Root Cause of the entire Universe, none as the cause for Self, wonderful Cause and the Originator for everything - Adimoolam. The Lord here is also named Sri Adimmola Perumal. The Lord came running to save and this scene was reenacted for the benefit of Hanuman. Similarly, this scene was enacted for the benefit of sage Parasara, whose idol also can be seen here. We will now see the last -47th- sloka of Chapter 6:

yoginam api sarvesam
shraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah

"And of all yogis, and all others, he who directs his mind in Me and sincerely worship Me, is the best. That is My opinion."

This is a very important sloka. It is a deviation from the path Sri Krishna telling Arjuna. The destination is changed now. We have to take a decision to follow which direction as two routes branch off from here. Till now Sri Krishna was telling about the greatness of atman sakshatkaram. Once we reach that we have no more body, no more rebirths, no karmas and so no consequent happiness and sorrow, and all these are surely, very noble. This is called atman prapti or Kaivalyam. We have seen the path to that destination only all these slokas. Arjuna thought that reaching atman prapti is the ultimate goal. Before he reached that conclusion, Sri Krishna changes the course as in a railway track, the points-man operates a lever to change the track for trains to move. In complete Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5, and upto sloka 46 in Chapter 6, Sri Krishna was directing Arjuna on a route and now from this sloka He changes the route and destination would be Himself. Of course, till now the path for reaching Kaivalyam and reaching Sri Krishna is common. Yoginam api = better than the yogi described earlier, sarvesham [api] = [ and so better than ] all others like the thapasvi, gyani and those who perform only karma, mad-gate = towards Me [Sri Krishna], antaratmana = mind, shraddhavan = with desire [to reach Sri Krishna], sa = such a person, bhajate yo mam = devoting to Myself [Sri Krishna], yuktatama = best, matah = is [Sri Krishna's] opinon. He now talks of three categories of persons and grade them. Earlier we saw those who meditate for inferior results like reaching heaven or extencding life, etc.; similarly those who are intellectuals , but knowledge is about worldly matters; and those, who perform karma for inferior results - all these people are good. But the yogi who does meditation, who has knowledge about atman and who does karma for atman sakshatkaram, is better. But, this person mentioned in this sloka, who does all these meditation, knowledge and karma, for reaching Sri Krishna, is the best. Yukta, yukta tara and yukta tama to put it in Sanskrit. So performing everything to reach the Paramatman is yuktatama. Yoginam also indicates all the four types mentioned in slokas 29, 30, 31 and 32. This person dedicating himself to Sri Krishna surpasses all of them. We nave to discuss more in this sloka and we will see it in the coming days.


Anand said...

While you correctly mention the sloka number in the write up , for eg , sloka 47 here ,why do you give the title as Bh.6.48? Does this title indicate the episode number related to this adhyayam?

TG Saranathan said...

Yes Sir, I go serially as the lectures go and this is not the serial number of the slokas in a chapter.