We have already visited 17 out of 18 Divya Desam of Pandya region. Only one is remaining and it is unique. This Kshetram is glorified by Sri Rama, by Sethu shore, by the bridge and by the Monkey Army [of Ramayana]. Thirumangai Alwar has glorified it. We have come to such a famous Thiruppullani.
This Kshetram appeared so many hundreds of thousands of years ago. The Lord appears in three forms here. Sri Aadi Jagannatha along with Sri Padmasani Thayar is gracing in the seated pose. Sri Dharbasayana Perumal in the reclining pose. Sri PattabiRama, along wit Sri Sita, Lakshmana and Anjaneya in the standing pose. With such three sannidhis and with the Chakra theertham or Hamsa theertham, pushkarini, Aswatta tree [Tamil- arasa maram Peepal is a popular name] as temple tree, Sethu shore in the ocean, this Kshetram is situated. How this name came to be? Sri Rama used dharba, a type of grass, as bed and rested. Grass is pul and bed is aNai in Tamil and so this place was called pullaNai, which became pullani. In Ramayana, in Thretha yug, Sri Rama requested Samudra Raja [king of oceans] to give way to reach Lanka and retrieve Sri Sita and He remained on the grass bed for three days . Sages Pullar, Sangar and Kalavar, were fortunate to view the Lord here and so in memory of sage Pullar, this place became Pullani. This place is surrounded by grass [dharba] and so it was known as pul aranyam [forest of grass]. Thiru is added to this name to sanctify and so this place is called Thiruppullani or Thiruppullaranyam. We will see more of this Kshetram in the coming days. In the last 28 slokas the procedure for yoga was explained by Sri Krishna. Swami Alavandar has, in Gitartha sangraham, in a single sloka told the essence of Chapter 6 as:
yogaabhyaasavidhiryogii caturdhaa yogasaadhanam .
yogasiddhiH svayogasya paaramyaM ShaShTa ucyate .. (10)
[Yogis are of four types, yoga saadhanam= implements needed to practice yoga, yogasiddhi = even if we are to slip from yoga in between, the yoga would still bear fruits and Bhakti yoga is the best among all yoga.] Upto sloka 28 we have seen the procedure for doing yoga. Selecting a conducive place, a good seat, we sit and concentrate our mind on atman, avoiding drifting away on other matters, and enjoying in that state without bothering about other matters. The yoga is thus practiced. Now, He is going to tell that yogis are of four types and these are described in next four slokas 29, 30, 31 and 32. These persons are not identical and their superiority increases in the ascending order of slokas. Person described in sloka 30 is better than the person detailed in sloka 29, etc,. In the temple we see the tower surface is reduced as we ascend. Similarly, in the first stage explained in sloka 29, one may find large number of persons. But the number of persons available for next stage mentioned in sloka 3o, will be lesser. For the top most stage described in sloka 32, minimum persons will be available. We find more students in the primary class. This gets reduced in high school and finally in the post graduate studies we find the least number. Similarly the number of persons qualifying various stages in the four slokas will diminish as we go from sloka 29 to 32. In sloka 29 Sri Krishna mentions that the yogi views all the living beings as same. It is called sama darshanam. All the four types of yogis will have this as a common feature. Sloka 29:
"A true yogi observes Me in all beings and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized person sees Me, the same Supreme Lord, everywhere."
Yoga = practicing yoga, yuktatma= whoever gets involved, iksate = sees or views, sarvatra = everywhere, sama darshana = same outlook. Sarvatra means, though all are different in bodies, atman without the body is same in all. Without the body the atman is an embodiment of gyana [knowledge] and ananda [bliss]. This is common in each and every atman, though the bodies in which each atman is residing may be different. So all atman are identical without any exception. So a yogi sees the atman in all and so finds all are same. Atmanam = self [yogi], sarva bhutastham = is seen in all living beings, sarva bhutani = all other living beings are seen, atmani = in self. All the atman of all other living beings are having the same gyana and ananda, as the atman of yogi has and vice versa. So yogi considers himself as equal to all others and he views all others are equal to him. We should not misinterpret this sloka to mean that all atman of others are residing in the atman of yogi or this yogi's atman is residing in all others' atman. This is impossible, too. So we have to understand that the yogi sees the gyana of all atman are equal to the gyana of his atman. In Vishnu Purana there is a story of King Rahuguna, who wanted to learn about atman from a great person. He traveled by a palanquin. Only three bearers were available, while to carry the palanquin four were needed. He spotted a well built person - Jatabharatha- and he was made the fourth bearer. Jatabharatha, was a yogi and was in concentration of atman and so the palanquin jerked violently as all the four were carrying it. Irritated the King found that the jerks were due to Jatabharatha not carrying palanquin and walking properly. King wanted to correct him by punishing with a stick. The King brandishing the stick told Jatabharatha, " You are well built and strong, why are you not carrying the palanquin properly? Where do you come from and what for you came?". Jatabharatha smiled and said that he did not carry the palanquin. King was perplexed and asked him wheteher he did not carry the palanquin on his shoulders all these time? Jatabharatha replied that he never carried but only his body carried the palanquin. He further said that he was not well built, but his body was. Just like the King came from the womb of his mother, so also Jatabharatha came from his mother's womb. Both of them have come to expend their karma and so there was no difference between the King and Jatabharatha. [The King was flabbergasted by the knowledge of Jatabharatha, and the story further continues]. So all are same as far as atman are considered. Such sama darshan is the level of the first type of yogi.