Sri Amaruviappan with Sri Senkamalavalli Thayar.
We are learning Bhakti yogam in the 7th Chapter. Sri Krishna has been telling His greatness and fame from sloka 4 to sloka 12. From the sloka 13, the subject changes. Let us recall the sloka on Seventh Chapter in Gitartha Sangraham of Swami Alavandar:
svay¯ath¯atmyam.prakr. ty¯asya tirodhi´s´saran.¯agatih.
bhaktabhedah.prabuddhasya ´srais.t.hyam.saptama ucyate
After hearing all about His greatness, Arjuna got a doubt; in spite of so many great qualities of the Lord, why people are refusing to understand these? Why Arjuna is not able to know it? What is it that screens off and hides these qualities from people? Sri Krishna tells that Prakruti, the Universe, which has been created out of it, karma of atman, numerous births, bad habits and traditions, ahankaram, mamakaram, kama and krodha, all these block our understanding of the Lord. From the 13th sloka we are to see what are the various screens which hide the Lord from us and how to remove them and understand the Lord clearly. We are now in Therazhundur Kshetram, where the Lord is called Sri Gosaka or Sri Aamaruviappan or Sri Devadiraja. Even Brahma suffered from this ignorance about the Lord. Similarly we also have defects that make us ignorant of the greatness of the Lord. Sri Krishna was playing with thousands of cowherds and millions of cows and calves, in Brindavan. Seeing this, Brahma got jealous and he thought Sri Krishna was a mere cowherd. He forgot that God has appeared as a Cowherd. Even now we have to respect any cowherd we see, as the Lord has brought fame by appearing in their community. Brahma took away all the cows and calves and all other cowherds, and hid them in this place, Therazhundur, thinking the Lord had not noticed. Sri Krishna came to this place in search of the lost cows and His friends. To teach a lesson to Brahma for his disrespect to the Lord, Sri Krishna, in the guise of Brahma himself, went to Satyaloka, the residence of Brahma and blocked the entry of the original Brahma into his residence. After he repented for his mistakes and pleading for pardon, Brahma was absolved and reinstated. The Lord then presented Himself as Sri Devadi Raja [ King of Devas] in this Kshetram. He appeared as Sri Gosaka [freind of cows] also. He showed He is above all and has no comparison. Gosaka when translated, as Aa [ cow] and so Sri Aamaruviappan. Thirumangai Alwar has composed 45 pasurams on this Lord here. Even the cowherd friends, the gopikas and a 'jamun' [ a berry] fruit vendor, all realized His greatness, whereas Brahma could not. Why this is so? Now the 13th sloka:
ribhir guna-mayair bhavair
ebhih sarvam idam jagat
mam ebhyah param avyayam
"Deluded by the three modes [goodness, passion and ignorance], the whole world does not know Me, who am above the modes and inexhaustible."
We can easily see that this sloka is the true reflection of the Lord here. He is an ordinary Cowherd and also the Almighty Lord, as depicted by Sri Gosaka and Sri Devadiraja. What prevents this understanding, in spite of the works of Alwars and Acharyas? The Universe with the three qualities [satva, rajo and tamo gunas], associated matter, associated places, desire of people to enjoy these, all come in the way of a clear vision of the Lord. Idam = this [ what is seen], sarvam jagat = all the people of this Universe; we have to understand that when jagat is told, it means all the people in this Universe. All means whether they are satvikas or rajasas or tamasas, everyone is included. Mohitam = [they are all] in an illusion. Everyone is confused and so are not having a clear understanding of the Lord. Even Brahma suffered from ego. The Lord has to uplift us. Just like He brought out the chariot from mud, hence the name Therazhundur, He has to bring us out of samsaram. Therefore, mam = I [Sri Krishna] am, nabhijanat = not understood. Ebih = this, tribhi = three, gunai = qualities, mayair bhavai = association filled. All matters in this Universe, in association with the three qualities - satva, rajo and tamo guna- prevent by causing a delusion and confusion among people. So, He is not understood clearly. Who are You? asked Arjuna. Ebhya = from these matters with three qualities, mam = I [Sri Krishna], param = much superior, avyayam = remaining constant always. People of this Universe never understand that Sri Krishna is different from all they see and that He is much superior and He is the One and Only One, not subject to any change and remain changeless always. Here the Lord says He is different from all the satva, rajo and tamasa matters we alll see in this world. We never understand He is far superior to all these. It is okay that rajo and tamo qualties associated articles might cause delusion; but articles with satva qualities are desired for cleansing our mind. Why then Sri Krishna is despising satva articles also? Rajo and tamo qualities are to be avoided, like a branded enemy, and so we clearly avoid. But satva articles are looking friendly and so we are deceived easily. If a cup is having poison and if we know, we avoid that. But if the cup is offered saying it is fruit juice, we drink and face problems. If the world is full of evil things only, then we might avoid liking any of them. But, good things are mixed with evil things and so we think we will enjoy the good things and in the process we associate with evil things also. It is like desire for the eatable, a mouse gets trapped. Similarly, we think even evil things are good and get into problems. People are daily busy with their daily requirements and do not find or allocate time for atman and Paramatman. Mind goes only after all these and it is not trained to be after atman or the Lord. Matters with three qualities are liked by us. We like a sweet or other eatables for the taste. These tastes as such might not be felt by us when we worship the Lord here. Because these tastes or other worldly feelings are all transient and very cheap. Food articles can not be taken after some days. We can not sleep continuously, though sleeping may be refreshing. So the desired experiences in this world have many limitations. But these articles are seen and felt by us. Where as Sri Krishna is Permanent and He will never change or decay. He is different from this world and He is Superior to all.