Thursday, March 6, 2008


Kaveri river, considered more sacred than Ganges, flows near Kapisthalam Kshetram. On the banks of Kaveri, the Lord is reclining, says Thirumazhisai Alwar. The place is surrounded by greenery. There is also a small sannidhi of Sri Navaneedha Krishna, dancing on the hood of serpent Kalinga and holding butter in one palm, on the shore of the river. We will now start the Chapter 7 study. Bhakti yoga is to be explained henceforth. Knowledge about a matter is called Gyana. We study it deeply and this becomes the initial step. This Gyana makes us to think and ponder over. This is called Dhyanam or Upasana. This is second step. When continuously this thought is there it is called smrithi. This is third step. When this thought process is mingled with love, it becomes Bhakti. Sneha poorva anudhyanam is Bhakti. When this Bhakti matures Darsana samana sakshatkaram, or the feeling of direct vision, is experienced. We develop Bhakti on persons whom we consider are superior to us. We feel we are servant to the person on whom we have Bhakti. All our actions, words and thoughts will be centered around that person only. Sri Krishna is going to tell about His greatness in Chapter 7. By knowing that, we will know how inferior all other things are. We will then develop Bhakti. Swami Alavandar has summarized the Chapter 7 in a sloka in his Gitartha Sangraham:

svay¯ath¯atmyam.prakr. ty¯asya tirodhi´s´saran.¯agatih.
 bhaktabhedah.prabuddhasya ´srais.t.hyam.saptama ucyate 11

Saptama ucyate
= these are told in the Seventh Chapter. Five concepts are mentioned. Svayathatmyam = He [Sri Krishna] explains His true Self. Arjuna gets a doubt as to why none are able to understand the Supremacy of the Lord, when His greatness is so clear? He is Paramatma, Parabrahmam. He only could grant Moksham. He is the Consort of Sri MahaLakshmi. All are His property and everyone is His servant. Then why others do not worship and surrender to Him? Something is obstructing us from understanding Him clearly. Something is hiding His greatness from us. In reply Sri Krishna tells praktya asya tirodhi = prakruti or samsaram or the mixture of chit and achit spread all over the Universe. We can say suppose we want to go to temple for worship. At that time suddenly if we develop pain in the legs, we cancel our trip. This is an example of prakruti. We go to a religious discourse and there we get sleep, we miss to listen to His greatness. So this world, our surroundings, our birth and the infinite karma act as screen and prevent us from understanding His majesty. Arjuna wonders why the Lord is gleefully telling that His fame is not understood by all. As a third point Sri Krishna tells how this screen of samsaram could be overcome. Saranagathi = surrender. To understsnd Him and to develop Bhakti, saranagathi is the only way. Clinging to His divine feet and praying to rescue from this prakruti is the method to understand His greatness. He only can help us to know about Him. Unlike meditating on other matters, thinking on the sweet image of the Lord also will be sweet. It is very difficult to concentrate our mind on empty space. But to think of the beautiful form of the Lord is easy and pleasant. With the feather of pea-cock on the head, dark curly flocks of hair, charming face, large beautiful lotus like eyes, large ear rings, coral red lips smiling, well developed shoulders, broad chest with Srivtasam, well formed thighs and lotus feet - all these are easy to conceive and meditate. The experience also will be delightful. Bhakti practicing is therefore, easy and enjoyable. Fourth concept is the categories of Bhaktas or devotees. Bhakta bheda = different Bhaktas:
  • Those who want to regain lost wealth.
  • Those who want to acquire new wealth.
  • Those who want to have atmanubhavam.
  • Those who want Him [Sri Krishna].
Prahlada says what all a bhakta to do: shravanam, keertanam, smaranam, padasevanam, archanam, vandanam, sakyam and atmanivedanam. This last type of Bhakta, does not expect anything other than Bhakti. Arjuna asks whether all these four types of Bhaktas are equal and Sri Krishna replies that the last type of Bhakta who demands only the Lord, is the best. Prabhusraisthyam = demanding Him alone.
The five concepts of Chapter 7 are:
  1. Sri Krishna's greatness.
  2. Obstacle of prakruti.
  3. Saranagathi to clear the obstacle.
  4. Types of Bhaktas
  5. Best among Bhaktas.
Invoking HIs blessings to get the temple renovated early, we will move on to next Kshetram.

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