Monday, March 3, 2008


For the Nanmugan Thiruvandhadhi, by Thirumazhisai Alwar, Swami Periavachan Pillai has made commentaries. Pasuram 50 is dedicated to Kapisthalam. Here Alwar claims happily that he has found a way. What way? Firstly, kootramum thara - he found a way for Naraka or the death god Yama could not come near him. Kodu vinaiyum sara -he found a way for beginning less harmful sins not to accumulate. Thee matramum sara - he found a way for not acquiring bad reputation. How did he find the way? He says, Aatrankarai kidakkum kannan - Sri Krishna reclining on the shore of river [Kapisthalam Perumal], kadal kidakkum mayan - Charmer reclining in the ocean [Thirupparkadal], urai kidakkum - words lie, ullathu - in [Alwar's] mind. Sri Krishna, Who is Sri Gajendra Varada in Kapisthalam and Who is reclining on the serpent Adisesha in the Milk ocean, preached Bhagavad Gita in the Kurukshetra battlefield, to Arjuna. His words are firmly embedded in Alwar's mind. So, no more hell or ill effects of sins or dishonour. The Lord is on the shore of the river, expecting someone. Will anyone come and salute Him? By standing one could wait for some time and by sitting for a longer time. But here the Lord is reclining and is waiting for a very long time for devotees to come to Him. This exhibits His simplicity. We can fulfill His wish by going to this temple in large numbers and thereby get the blessings of the Lord. In Ksheerabdi - Milk Ocean - He is reclining and shows His glory and exaltation. By knowing His exaltation, we are sure He would protect us. By knowing His simplicity, we can approach Him. Unless both these qualities are there He is of no use to us. As Sri Gajendra Varada, here, He is approachable and as Sri Ksheerabdinathan, He is in the exalted position to satisfy our needs. In the 18th Chapter of Gita He is going to tell the charama sloka, sarva dharman paridyascha.. There He says to surrender unto mam eka - only Me [Sri Krishna]- and aham - I [Sri Krishna ] will get all sins removed. Not to worry. There He pointed to Himself and said mam -Me [Sri Krishna]. Mam conveys His simplicity to be approached and aham conveys His glory, capable of removing all sins. In the last sloka of Chapter 6 also, He mentions that the person who dedicates himself in meditating on Him is the best. Here also the word mam -Me [Sri Krishna]- is mentioned. We have to imagine the scene in Kurukshetra. Golden chariot pulled by white horses. Dark Blue hued Sri Krishna is seated as the chariot driver, wearing silk robes, dazzling in the sunshine. He is holding the reins in one hand and the other hand is gesturing the lectures He is making. When He says mam He would have touched His chest to point Himself. Swami Ramanuja says in his Gita Bhashyam, that by that word mam all the great qualities of the Lord are included. We were earlier taking life easy with enjoying with our sense organs and only after listening to the preaching of the Lord, we realized the difference between atman and body. We understood that body made up of the Five great elements is destructible, while atman never decays. So we understood atman is superior to body. With His teachings we were asked to look at atman, which is embodiment of gyana. When we were about to conclude that it was enough if we understand atman and meditate on atman, Sri Krishna wants to lift our thinking further to a higher plane. Now we should understand the greatness of Him as compared to atman. We should realize reaching Him in Sri Vaikuntam is much, much better than mere atman sakshatkaram. For this we should know the qualities of the Lord which are superior to the qualities of atman. If this difference is properly understood, then it becomes easier to follow the route shown. By pointing to Himself with the word mam, He indicates to Arjuna all the qualities which make Him glorious and at the same time He also indicates all the qualities to show His simplicity. He is the repository of glorious and simplicity qualities. We have seen that the Kapisthalam Perumal has both these qualities as shown by the Alwar. We will list His qualities that make Him great[as listed by Swami Ramanuja]. All these qualities are not attributable to atman :
  • Jagat karanam - Root cause for the Universe. Creator.
  • Ubhayalinga visishtam - Repository of all auspicious qualities and without any blemish. [atman has happiness and sorrow by contact with body]
  • Nityavibhooti Nayaka - Chief of Vaikuntam. We are only His servants.
  • He is the last word on Majesty and Magnificence.
  • Sarvagya - knows all, about all and at all times.
  • Sarva shakta - power not limited by time or place or matter.
  • Anandam - bliss compounding all the bliss of the Universe.
  • Sriyapathi - Consort of Sri MahaLakshmi.
None of these could be found in atman. Today's [4th March 2008] lecture was from the sannidhi of Sri Pushpavalli Thayar.

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