Monday, March 31, 2008

BG 7.18

Near Sri Aamaruviappan sannidhi is a sannidhi for Sri Ranganatha. Today's [1st April 2008] lecture is from this sannidhi. Here, a unique feature is that Sri Ranganatha is in a reclining pose with His head on the lap os Sri Sridevi and His feet on Sri Bhoodevi. Lord Brahma is born as His child, and His Discus and Conch are kept near this child, as toys. The Lord, therefore, is gracing with only two arms. Koil, Thirumalai and Perumal koil are considered as very important Kshetrams by SriVaishnavas. They denote, respectively, Srirangam, Thiruppathi and Kanchipuram. The same Sri Devadiraja of Kanchipuram is gracing here in Therazhundur. In Thiruppathi, Sri Govindaraja Perumal sannidhi is there, and here also nearby there is a sannidhi for Sri Govindaraja. With Sri Ranganatha Perumal sannidhi, we can note all the three Kshetrams are represented in this place. Sri Devadhiraja is in standing pose; Sri Ranganatha is in reclining pose and Sri Govindaraja is gracing the devotees, seated. Though Poet Kambar was born here, he published his Ramayana epic from Thillai Chittirakootam [Chidambaram] and Srirangam [near Thayar sannidhi]. So, at the request of the poet, Sri Ranganatha and Sri Govindaraja [of Thillai Chittirakootam] are gracing here. Thus this Kshetram is famous in many ways. There is also a sannidhi for Sri Rama and opposite to this is a sannidhi for Bhakta Anjaneya. There is also a sannidhi for Sri Ranganayaki Thayar. We will now see Sri Krishna describing four types of persons, who surrender unto the Lord. The 16th sloka:

catur-vidha bhajante mam
janah sukritino ’rjuna
arto jijnasur artharthi
jnani ca bharatarsabha

"O best among the Bharatas, four kinds of pious men begin to render devotional service unto Me—the distressed wanting to regain loss, the desirer of new wealth, the atman inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute."

He tells Arjuna to carefully listen to what Sri Krishna is going to tell. Chatur vidha = four types, jana = of people, sukritho = of good deeds, bhajante = surrender unto or pray, mam = Me [Sri Krishna]. He calls these people as sukritho or blessed ones, in contrast to dushkrito or bad deed people mentioned in the last sloka, while explaining the four types of people who never supplicate to Him. Arjuna asks who they were? We have to clearly understand these four types, as based on these Sri Krishna is going to tell more and so these categories must be well founded in our minds. We have already seen that entities are three:

  • Chit - matter with intellect, billions of atman.
  • Achit - matter without any intellect, all inanimate objects like materials, our body, stone, etc.
  • Isvara -Paramatman, God, possessing both Chit and Achit as His dependents and His property.
Some desire to possess material wealth or Achit. These persons are involved in the sensual pleasures of the sense organs, They are called Iswarya aarthi. Here, there are two sub groups. One is those, who want to regain their lost wealth. They are called brasht-iswarya kaman. Second type is those who want to have fresh wealth. These persons are called apoorva -iswarya kaman.
Some others desire to be happy with atman anubhauam or experience. These persons consider materials as low and regard atman as superior and everlasting. They know atman is an embodiment of Gyana and Ananda, and so desire to have atman sakshatkaram and feel that pleasure is everlasting. They are called kaivalya aarthi.
Some others desire to be with God only. They are called Bhagavallabha aarthi.
Thus there are four types of people in devotion to Him.
Sri Krishna tells that all these people approach Him.
  1. Artha = regaining lost wealth.
  2. Artharti = need of new wealth.
  3. Jijnasu = to have atman anubhavam.
  4. Jnani = to associate with the Lord.
Their grades also are in the ascending order, and the person desiring to be with the Lord alone is the most superior. Instead of asking for trivial things, this person asks for Him alone.

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